Do Not Grab at Straws, Work the Problem and Keep Finding Ways to Steal Wins Till Reinforcements Arrive

  • Don’t grab at straws.

    Work the problem.

    Devonte has to learn to lead.

    He has to adapt to adversity.

    He started with one kind of team, now he has another.

    Devonte has to lead.

    He has to rally the troops.

    He has to find the door that is not yet visible for how this team can win.

    Steal wins. This is who we are now until reinforcements arrive.

    Devonte has to take control and work with what he has.

  • Our reinforcements wouldn’t have saved us this time.

    This was a complete breakdown of our guard play. Horrible defense. We couldn’t stop wide open treys and we couldn’t stop the scoring drives.

    This loss is clearly on our guards. Bad, bad bad!

  • No disrespect AT ALL to you, @jaybate-1-0, I’m just slightly perplexed at how we go from being ranked #2 in the nation, described by one coach (was it South Dakota State’s coach? I don’t remember) as “the best college basketball team he’s seen in 30 years” to trying to “steal some wins” until the reinforcements arrive.

    What in the wide, wide world of sports is a goin on here?

  • Tired legs already

  • Team is built to live and die with the 3. Its that simple. If Doke had more of a post game we would get away with the 4-out offense even on bad shooting days. A true 4 in the high low would also get Doke a few more quality touches.

  • Dok would thrive in the low post of the high low. None of the guards can throw and entry pass like a big can.

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Good question. It does seem like many board rats find this a sudden sea change.

    But even before Preston went out, I thought fans and media were underestimating how thin we were. When Preston went out, the team rallied a few games as is typical. And that was the team the minor major coach you mentioned saw and praised so highly. That coach was also probably using some coach speak. He wants to schedule elites for the gate receipts to finance his small program. PRAISING AN ELITE ENSURES SCHEDULING MORE ELITES NEXT YEAR. So: that may not have been entirely reliable feedback.

    Next, after a short rally from losing Preston, fans were further seduced and probably some denial set in about KU’s missing pieces and the inevitable attrition each season brings.

    Our starting five is very talented at trifectation and can score, when it is rested, not fouled up, and no one is “nicked up” or sick. It’s already done it.

    On a good shooting night, we can blister a minor major and beat many majors and even a green, short handed elite, or two.

    But combine shorthandedness with the need to work in effectively new, developing faces like Doke, Vick and Newman (3/5ths of our starting team) and we appear to have a Mylar thin margin for error.

    Handling adversity is something every team has to master each season. 3/5ths being newbies makes that more challenging. Having no flexibility to strategize and motivate with substitution makes this team rather easy to scheme against, as opposing coaches accrue more and more film of us to study before games.

    There are two obvious ways to beat us: outshoot us and out rebound us on one of our off shooting nights (Husky loss), or run on us for a full 40 minutes with 8 guys (ASU loss). Both these approaches are how KU has beaten so many teams with longer stacks, or a Durant. Now KU is getting a dose of its own medicine.

    There is one more obvious way, if you have a good center and some guards that can drive it. Foul up Doke the first 5 minutes, then just keep pounding it down our throats for 35 minutes.

    Next, our outside shooting is VERY susceptible to wear and tear. Every piece of new lingerie each game indicates a risk of our trifectation falling beneath the collective 40% 3pt shooting needed to be an winning 4-1 Team that game. Few trifectates are as impervious to joint pain and leg fatigue, as Frank Mason was. This year’s players are not babies. They are “normal.”

    Also this 4-1 scheme is vulnerable to an “0’fer” by one of our first three options: Devonte, Vick and Svi, because Malik, our fourth, has so far not been the BenMac grade addition this 4-1 Team needed. Note: if Malik were to get untracked, this team could much more likely weather recent flameouts by Devonte versus Huskies and Svi versus Sun Devils.

    Worse still, this shorthand KU Team IS very vulnerable in the near future to:

    a.) a series of 2 in 3 sets that will come during conference, unless Cunliffe, Preston and DeRousa show up; and

    b.) to inevitable extended shooting slumps by our first three options, unless Malik comes around as a viable fourth option.

    Penultimately, and I have saved the worst for next to last, we are one big shy of the minimum two needed, just to sustain a 4-1 set for a season. And we are 2 bigs shy of being able to matchup with the occasional double post teams we will face. And I’m not even accounting for possible injury to Doke.

    Ultimately, this team lacks back ups, a problem it presently seems unlikely to escape. And this leaves it avoiding fouling and so being unable to play aggressive Self defense, or rebound much, for extended stretches. Self has gone small and schemed a scoring team, but a defense first coach only able to have his team guard 10 mpg a game, and even then not really having any lock down defenders, well, that is a sad 😢 sight.

    So: what happened?

    Reality and an apparent recruiting embargo happened.

    Fans denial met reality.

    Why did the media suffer denial, too?

    Maybe they have been burned so many times (much of 13 seasons) by Self producing hat rabbit driven miracles, they just decided to go along.

    Or maybe overhyping KU early has helped with bet balancing?

    I don’t know.

    But KU just does have 5 very potentially and intermittently VERY good players.

    But it’s kind of like bridge with five good face cards in Trump, no other face cards and even distribution of suits in your hand. Five good Trump cards is five tricks, but ten points is still only ten points and you need at least 13 to open unless you can bluff like hell and cross ruff unexpectedly.

    Self needs just a few more face cards on the bench in a big man suit and with the right distribution on some other teams he could once again go to game.

    But presently, it looks like Hopkins and Hurley found two ways to exploit his lack of those cards on the bench, and now others will likely emulate. On our hot nights, we will still prevail. It’s the warm and cold nights that will grow increasingly fitful, if no more bench cards are dealt.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Arizona State also plays small ball with primarily a 6 player rotation and they do not have tired legs.

  • @BeddieKU23

    Tired legs, again, yup.

    Remember ASU played an 8-man rotation probably specifically because Self only had five effective rotation players. And they regularly play 6 to seven man rotations against good competition, not just against dubs, which is two more than KU plays against good competition.

    KU tends to play an effective 5 man rotation unless they are playing mid majors, or lousy majors when KU is having a hot shooting night. Self tries to give Lightfoot and Garrett 8 mpg each and up to 13 if the score permits more.

    KU had tired legs and will always have tired legs against any major that can run an effective 7-8 man rotation at them and force KU into fast tripping most possessions…until Self gets two more bodies into the rotation regularly that can play 15-20 mpg against quality opponents, not just those playing small ball. Lightfoot and Garrett don’t count unless he starts playing them 20 minutes per game against good teams.

    Leg fatique will really become acute late January and early February, unless two guys–Cunliffe and either Preston, or DeSousa–show up and can play, rather than just watch.

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  • @jaybate-1.0

    How do you figure?

    The top 5 players for ASU played 175 minutes or 87.5% of available minutes, the other 3 players combined for 25 minutes. KU top 5 players played 167 Minutes or 83.5% and the other two players combined for 33 minutes. ASU should have had more tired legs than KU.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Plus they played Friday!

  • JayHawkFanToo said:


    Arizona State also plays small ball with primarily a 6 player rotation and they do not have tired legs.

    Your right ASU has had little depth to use as well. Doesn’t mean KU isn’t hitting a wall already. Vick & Graham are playing almost 35 minutes a game. Over the last 3 games those two have sat 5 minutes together. Hard to expect these guys to be machines for near 40 minutes and produce on both ends. We are bleeding everywhere for help

  • JayHawkFanToo said:


    How do you figure?

    The top 5 players for ASU played 175 minutes or 87.5% of available minutes, the other 3 players combined for 25 minutes. KU top 5 players played 167 Minutes or 83.5% and the other two players combined for 33 minutes. ASU should have had more tired legs than KU.

    Sky’s blue.

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    Best regards,

    @KUFanjaybate 1.0Too and @HawkjaybateChamp1.0


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