What's wrong with Coach Self?

  • Piss poor game last night, team looked terrible in many ways. The biggest question I have after letting it set in for a while is “What is wrong with Coach Self?” Forget what I saw last night, its what I didn’t see. I didn’t see Coach Self getting heated, face red, trying to light a fire under the team that played flat, no energy, putrid defense, and just went through the motions. They weren’t diving for loose balls and lost almost all of the 50/50 balls, rebounding was terrible and got out worked for them all game, and so many stupid turnovers. Where is the Coach Self that I come to know and love? So many times last night somebody would have a bonehead turnover and I’d expect Self to lay into him but nothing. I knew they were going to lose last night in the first few minutes of the second half when nothing had changed. The energy level was the same, still not competing for rebounds, still playing lax defense, I knew at that point that they would lose. I’m used to seeing the team come out with a newfound energy after halftime with everybody suspecting the paint on the walls was being peeled off by Self’s “motivational” halftime talks. But not this time. Nothing. No fire on the sideline, no fire at halftime, nothing.

    What is wrong with Coach Self??

  • Drank the same bad Gatorade as the team perhaps? Lack of energy allover the place last night. It’s good to know we’re much better than that when we wanna be. I think that’s probably now 2 games where we played under our average. Self always says he expects around 5 games a year like that. Certainly this was one of them. There will be much better nights but not many worse for this group.

  • Looked eerily similar to the Oregon game, didn’t it? Team faces a defense that they cannot figure out on the court and cant figure out their shot or where to get them. 4 on 3 on the perimeter leaving their big to guard the lane and daring the Hawks to beat them playing 2 on 1 with Doke and Vick vs their big. Zebras came in with an assist the first half by taking out our bigs and really putting the hurt on any chance to score inside. (This game was not on the refs, do not get me wrong) Mitch and Doke seem to have no offensive move outside of the dunk. Doke was sucking air after two trips down the court last night. The team already has no legs and its December. UW was Longer and Athletic at three key positions and played bigger at the remaining 2 all night. Kansas was a step behind, out hustled, and there was nothing that could be done to overcome their length on the perimeter and Kansas’ inability to grab a board when it counted. About all Self did was watch it happen all night.

  • Let’s not play in the Sprint Center ever again.

    Unless we win.

  • I was pretty impressed with Bill during the second half. Svi threw an errant lob pass and I just knew the frustration would boil over and Self would rip him a new one. But he didn’t. Bill just clapped and encouraged him. The teams confidence was shot and chewing them out over an aggressive play wasn’t going to instill confidence back into them. Back to back timeouts in the second half to try and make adjustment that didn’t work.

    Days like this will happen when the team can’t hit a shot; two things bothers me it looked like they gave up and the defense was poor. There is no excuse for hanging your head during a competitive game.

  • He understands this team has a limited roster and is probably just managing personalities.

  • @Blown It did remind me of Oregon (shudder)

  • If you believe in the law of averages and Bill only wins around 80%of the time; KU is due for another loss out of the next two games. And for another 6- 7 on the year…but I’m all for coming in above average this season!

    I’d really like to light up the interweb with a string of profanity that’d make Larry Flynt blush when thinking about another potential loss though.

  • @RockkChalkk

    I FEEL exactly as you do.

    But I’ve come to know Bill Self to be the “Riverboat Gambler” and that means he is often doing things that are unpredictable.

    Let me ask you… is it best that Kansas go undefeated into March Madness?

    I seriously doubt it.

    This team needs to get punched in the face. They got punched in the face last night.

    Now… let’s talk about TIMING! We get punched in the face, right before our big Christmas development period. PERFECT!

    Perhaps, just perhaps, our guys try a little harder and listen to Self more in this period now that they surely must realize they are not invincible, and their future will only go positive if they work hard and follow instructions. Trust in their coaches.

    As hard as this is to stomach… I think this is the best thing that could happen to us. We will need to lose again this year, maybe more than one more time, before March. If we really do pick up 3 new players then they need to learn humility, too, along with all our current players who might start buying into the bull snit that we have become invincible with these 3 additional players.

    Much of this loss has to fall on Self’s shoulders… but also Devonte. It is HIS team, and he has to stand accountable. We’ve all seen what he can do now. We know he can pour it on and take over games. My concern with Devonte has always been if he can MAINTAIN playing at a high level every game, and all the minutes within a game. That is a tall order of expectations… but that level has to be maintained high to be a real contender in March.

    I do think this loss will help us… CONSIDERABLY! But for now… big ouch!

  • @RockkChalkk Come on man. Nothing wrong with Coach Self. Its one game. I think he may have sent the team out ill prepared and flat on purpose. Teaching moment for everyone. I could be wrong of course

  • @dylans I agree, it’s admirable for coach to have a good attitude and remain calm, but when your coach is encouraging you to keep doing the things that aren’t working, that itself can break morale. A firery disposition from the sideline can be reassuring in that it indicates that something can be done to get the train back on the track. The kids would not have given up and thrown so many errant passes down the stretch if they believed that victory was still achievable. I just don’t think Vick was prepared to execute on the scale he was asked to offensively, and we were unable to correct his approach midgame. I would have liked to have seen Svi at the high post, but I’m sure we never practiced that.

  • OMG! OMG! OMG!!! We lost a game in December while horribly undermanned and the coach didn’t go batshit! That would have helped a lot! A pissed off coach makes shots go in!

    Perhaps the strategy was to let the players go, follow their alleged instincts, and learn what can happen when they don’t strictly pay attention or follow the staff’s instructions. Standing around? Not the coach’s instructions, for sure.

    Any team winning big can get a big head. Self let them find out they are vulnerable. If it looked like the Oregon game, that was because shots did not fall and the inside game was only there occasionally. This could have happened in any of the past 3 games, but shots fell then.

    The difference between this and the Oregon game is that they now have seen what happens and can develop strategies to counter. Maybe with some depth after next week, too.

    Anyone wringing their hands over this game should focus their worries on something more productive, such as soap operas.

  • @Lulufulu No its not one game. This game will now belong in the same discussion as Nova, Oregon, UNI and VCU. It was pathetic in every single aspect.

  • @HawkChamp Same significance as tourney ousters? Wow! I hope blood pressure meds are available if every game is that significant to you.

    I think HCBS previously has been criticized for focusing so much on winning every early game so that he didn’t have to address team vulnerabilities revealed in March. Now he let them come out and can do so.

    I think a deep breath and a little faith are in order. But, stress if you wish.

  • @mayjay I’m not stressed. I find that as time goes on I’m less and less “involved” in the game and I focus more on the technical aspects. Last night, so many things jumped out at me that leaves me to file the Washington game into the same category as the other pathetic showings.

  • @mayjay

    Thank you for your calm and levelheaded analysis.

    Interesting that every time that KU loses people come out of the woodwork asking what is wrong with Hall of Fame Coach Self and wonder how KU ever wins.

    Yes, It was a bad game but it was just one game. KU will get back on the winning track, it always has; let’s worry when it loses 3 or 4 in a row.

  • Coach Hopkins did a marvelous job of preparation for this game. Telecommunicated with his former head coach Boeheim, then chose to focus on clipping the beak of our Jayhawk point guard and to hit the court with maximum hustle and energy, not growing dismayed when leaving Vick relatively free to do his thing. On a night when KU gunners were missing 3 pt. shots, the strategy worked well for Washington. Outcome was something of an outlier, I would conclude. But it did expose Jayhawk weaknesses: lack of another solid big man and relying too much on the glory of normal outside shooting success. Fool’s gold, anyone?

  • I tend to think this was a growing up game for LaGerald Vick. He appeared to grow tentative about carrying the load, as the game wore on. Should perhaps have glued his nose to the hoop and gone for 40 pts. His game has improved mightily in the past 2 and 1/3 seasons. Now his mind and determination must take an accompanying leap. Maybe the psychological shock of his first half success wormed its way into limiting what he might have accomplished? This was an occasion when we needed someone to step forward with Frank Mason’s grit.

  • @RockkChalkk I was at the game last night and my friend said the same thing. It was about 8 mins left and she was like what is going on with Self he isn’t’ angry or yelling at them to get them motivated.

  • Does anyone else think that part of the reason we were missing shots is that those shots were contested and not as clean as in previous games? There were a couple of in and outs that I remember that were pretty open looks and on another day might go in. But some of the others, I thought, were missed because they were not necessarily good shots…but they were all we were able to get given our execution against their zone defense. I’m talking mainly about the 3 pointers.

  • He is playing three dimensional chess with the team. He does this every once in a while. Sometimes it works spectacularly- sometimes it doesn’t work ( TCU loss a few years back ).

  • @KUSTEVE maybe he’s saving his energy for late in the season.

  • @Hawk8086 We had an open shot all day from 2 feet further out than where we were shooting 3s.

  • Just listen to Selfs presser after the game “Our fans are great but if I’d paid money to see that tonight I’d want a drink”. Couldn’t agree more lol

  • @KUSTEVE But is that a good shot? (Yes…I know Devonte was hitting them against Cuse)

  • @Hawk8086 We’ll never know- we never tried it.

  • Heard this driving home from the game the other night. Posted on Kusports now. It concerned me when I heard it. Still been thinking about it. How can you have a team with players in the system 2-4 years as your current starters, and not know the plays–or not be able to execute them?

    “We’re not a good execution team,” KU coach Bill Self said after the loss. “When we’re playing well, we’re a good playing team, but we haven’t scored all year on plays. We had some plays that we tried to do, but our execution’s so bad. We got the ball where it needed to go, for the most part. I just thought our defense was horrendous and our hustle plays weren’t very good either.

  • @RockkChalkk

    Behind the former #2 ranking, Bill had BIG problems. He apparently knew it, even if the fans were too euphoric to notice.

    Car investigation? HUGE. Could easily wreck his great career.

    One inexperienced, project type, D1-grade 5; then 1 210-pound Tulsa type backup, then nothing but a football walk on. This alone would guaranty any coach at an elite program insomnia!

    No back up point guard. Insomnia.

    No backup 2 guard. Insomnia.

    A starting 3 combo guard transfer that isn’t scoring and won’t dish. Insomnia.

    No backup 3. Insomnia.

    No big 4. Insomnia.

    A 3 trying to play 4 with no back up. Double Insomnia.

    The above are what are wrong with Self.

    If he put the spurs to this team now, one or two might just quit and he would be looking at a 10 win season at best.

    It appears Self doubts this team is capable of much more than its giving him right now. Hence no spurs.

    He also had to not let the no amp, 25% shooting might interfere with the planned amp for the second game of the 2 in 4 set. Getting a split was what mattered most. He may chew on them during the next game.

    But my hunch is he will not get fiery with the team til after January 1, when he knows who will be on the roster.

  • jaybate 1.0 said:

    If he put the spurs to this team now, one or two might just quit and he would be looking at a 10 win season at best.

    @jaybate-1-0 Thanks for the well thought out reply. I especially like this line about the spurs and do think there is some calculation behind Self’s apparent restraint last game. I don’t think anyone would actually quit but its probably not a risk worth taking. The depth situation is my guess as well for the most likely reason. In seasons past when KU had a deeper bench, the team could afford to have a player go into the “toughening box” for a few games. Its a much different situation now. Its probably a calculated risk to not lay into anyone too hard in order to avoid a confidence spiral that could impact future games as well. There is no doubt that some people react positively to some spit and fire while others don’t. Knowing when and with whom to ignite the flames with is a skill and is why Self is paid the big $.

    Thanks to all others who posted rational responses as well. I’m not worried about the team quite yet and still have full confidence in Self, but was definitely surprised by the way he kept his cool all game during that debacle. Appreciate all the thoughts from the board rats family, thank you.

  • @RockkChalkk

    Copy and paste

  • @jaybate-1.0 Very well stated. I would add that if Cunliffe is not a big help, and if Preston does not get cleared, and if De Sousa does not become eligible, IT WILL BE A VERY LONG YEAR!!!

  • @Big-Clyde52

    Yep, just the regular wear and tear could be enough to sink the team without Preston and DeSousa and with an unproductive Cunliffe. Self needs a hat rabbit. Heck, at this point, he needs a hat, too.

    But I just watched Jimmy Cagney, as Halsey, again in THE GALLANT HOURS to fortify myself for what looms for KU and America.

    I already have seen Devonte rise to two 30-point games twice and Clay Young impossibly bridge us through Syracuse.

    We are down to a situation where ordinary men are being routinely confronted by extraordinary challenges.

    This team is, regrettably, in synch with our nation.

    The team is a fast ship sailing into harm’s way.

    I only hope our country is still fast, too.

    Rock Chalk!

    And god bless America!

  • What is wrong with some of you posters? Quitting on the team after one loss when the team has an enviable long term success? Heck we gave the football team the benefit of the doubt for half a season before quitting on it and considering it has a pathetic record.

    Has anyone figured out why the basketball team, as soon as it added one football player, lost a game? Coincidence? Maybe it was trying to make Sosinski feel at home. 😄

  • Hey - we’re gonna win a lot of games this year. Hopefully a lot in March and all of them in April. BUT - am I the only one that’s concerned that we’re too " nice " ? Nobody on this team intimidates anybody. I want a couple of big dudes with dreadlocks (don’t care if they are black, white, brown, green or whatever (people that is, not the color of the dreads). I want them missing at least one tooth, preferably to have multiple scars on their face and an eye patch would be a nice touch too. And they should never speak - just growl.

    Seriously, i think we’re too soft.

  • What is wrong with some of you posters that accuse other posters of quitting on the team, when no posters have done so? What makes some posters misrepresent other posters, thus creating a false issue, and then pretend like insouciant phonies to advocate what everyone already appears to think in the first place? What-what-what-what-what is wrong? What!


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  • @nuleafjhawk

    …no, no, no, no eye patches, no depth perception and he would be whacking the air and not upside he head of the other player as intended. Just kidding. 😃

  • I’m going with @Dylans on this one. I personally LOVE Bill Self’s new demeanor. It was apparent last season too. You know why? Do you all want to know why?

    Three pointers. He’s accepted the devil. It’s calming. So no need to flop around like a newly hooked Mackerel. He still blisters guys a new one, but the gyrations during the action are much more limited.

    It’s really terrific in my opinion. I like three pointers, too.

    By the way, the WU coach said they were trying to stop Graham. Meaning, anyone beats them except him. Just saw that.

  • I Give Washington credit and I believe that they will be one of the three powers in the Pac 12. Boeheim gave them a great scouting report. “Just hope that Vick doesn’t score more than 25 points but give them the paint. Don’t leave the three point line when the ball goes in the middle and make Vick try to score over the two Bigs. Don’t Let Svi and Devonte have a big night, because you’ll lose. Also, until Newman shows that he can get his shot, don’t worry about him.”

    We will play agains’t one more Zone team in Baylor. Vick needs to work on a quick 8 foot jumper. and Newman needs to show up against non-mid-Major schools. Boy, do we need Sousa or Preston.

  • @wrwlumpy


    I gave the Huskies credit before the game and practically got hooted out of the cloud. Usually level headed board rats insisted the Huskies were terrible based on early season stat rankings (beware the small”n”!) even though they were 7-2 and were coached by a new guy coaching a brand of Boeheim zone ball that requires a team to shoot significantly above 25% outside to win. Alas, we had not yet had a really bad shooting night and Devonte was coming off two 30-point games. This seemed a recipe for potential problems, if we shot poorly and Boeheim gave Hopkins a good scout, which seemed likely. I thought I was simply being prudent in my warning, but I was viewed as very unrealistically concerned.

    But this is what is great about sports: chaff gets separated from wheat…if the whistles and seeding are symmetric.

  • HighEliteMajor said:

    I’m going with @Dylans on this one. I personally LOVE Bill Self’s new demeanor. It was apparent last season too. You know why? Do you all want to know why?

    Three pointers. He’s accepted the devil. It’s calming. So no need to flop around like a newly hooked Mackerel. He still blisters guys a new one, but the gyrations during the action are much more limited.

    It’s really terrific in my opinion. I like three pointers, too.

    By the way, the WU coach said they were trying to stop Graham. Meaning, anyone beats them except him. Just saw that.

    I like it too.

    Self is not stupid. His being a bit of an ogre was impacting recruiting.