KU "SOFT BALL" Beats ISU by 5 in Lawrence; Prohm and Everyone Else Clueless How It Works...or What It EVEN Is!!!

  • KU won by taking softness to a new Downey-like level.

    KU guarded softly, giving up 78 points at home. KU guarded so softly that they allowed a team having a horrendous first half of trey balling (27%) to bounce back and shoot 50% the second half!

    KU rebounded softly, almost fluffily, going -10 on the glass. This was some kind of record for softness in rebounding. I maybe be even going too soft by calling KU rebounding soft. KU rebounded like a down comforter. Footer Azubuike played as if he had taken a pre game soak in Downey. He only grabbed 6 caroms in 29 minutes, despite ISU effectively playing without big men. It almost seems impossible for a footer, even one with a bad back, to only get 6 rebounds against a team without bigs. Were it not for those two legendary KU rebounding animals–LaCobra Vick and Malik Newman–who BOTH out rebounded Azubuike! KU might have gone down -20 in reebs.

    KU fouled softly. KU only committed 16 fouls and attacked so gingerly on offense that they only got fouled 12 times. It got to the point where ISU’s Head Coach Steve Prohm seemed to be walking up to the referees like a hobo and saying, “Brother, can you spare a Free Throw?”

    I could go through most statistical categories and engage in hyperbole about softness, but the point is made.

    The only thing KU did hard was launch treys.

    Can we talk?

    KU had more 3ptas (36) than KU had rebounds (34). Has this ever occurred in KU history? This is the most bizarre combined statistic maybe in the history of college basketball. You have to really play soft, rebound soft, and pussyfoot outside on offense at record levels to have more 3ptas than rebounds.

    I’m going to call this the softest win in KU history and quit with the softness stuff.

    It was analogous to the Marines having taken Edson’s ridge on The Canal with hand held fans on high.

    Can we talk about Malik? Malik the player I have adopted and refused to give up on, even though a part of me wants to. Malik’s game tonight distills his problem and his potential. If Malik could develop his game for two more years at KU, I believe he could be as good by then, as he apparently thinks he is now, but apparently isn’t. Yes, Malik led the team in scoring. Big flipping deal. Anyone that takes 21 shots OUGHT to lead his team in scoring. Malik took 31.3% of KU’s FGAs. Five other KU players have a higher FG% than Malik. Malik took 36% of KU’s 3ptas. Four players shoot the trey at a higher percentage than Malik. Statistically speaking, Malik is NOT the guy you want taking 21 shots for KU. He is definitely not the guy you want taking treys for KU. So why was Malik getting 21 FGAs including 13 3ptas? Beats the heck out of me. KU might have won this 3pt orgy by 5-10 more points, if Malik’s shots had been taken by other KU players.

    But Malik did some terrific things, too, especially for Malik.

    Malik got 8 boards, a hefty nights work for any perimeter player. Malik brought the ball up some and only baked 1 pop tart. Malik got two blocks! But most importantly of all, Malik got TWO assists and got so psyched up about a fast break layup by Svi that he cut loose with real emotion for Svi and patted him on the butt; this is REAL progress for my adopted player; this is the kind of progress that gets Self’s attention, even if he did walk back to the bench a number of times appearing to be shaking his head at some of the things Malik was doing. Its pretty clear Self is coming to view Malik as he did Andrew Wiggins. He spent the first semester trying to coach him up and get him to do more of the things that a Self Baller is supposed to be able to do.But starting conference play, Self seems to shake his head and say, “Leopards don’t change their spots.” Self seems to have decided to let Malik be Malik, warts and all. For his part, Malik seems ready to be a good teammate to everyone and appears ready to do whatever he can for the team in his own way that he can. Malik has a lot to offer this shorthanded team, even with warts.

    Between you and me, Self was apparently giving Malik one of those showcase games he gives 5-star guys once in awhile. Gets them untracked sometimes and makes them feel better about themselves. Good. We need Malik and we need him feeling good about himself, even if he does need another season or two become a bonafide D1 basketball player; i.e., one that could offend efficiently and really lock someone down on defense. Enough Malik for this game.

    Self was apparently so committed to getting back to playing soft in this one that he carefully carved Mitch Lightfoot back to invisibility. Enough blocking and rebounding already, Mitch; that’s not how we’re going to win this one tonight. I’m saving you for another game. Tonight, we’re about helping Malik feel better about himself and about winning one the old fashioned way–with Downey.

    Cunliffe was disappeared, perhaps because of an injury I noted game or so ago, or perhaps because he didn’t grade well on video scrutiny the last game, or perhaps, again, to help Malik feel better about himself. Heck, Marcus Garrett played only 15, so that Malik could play 34 minutes. To be blunt, Marcus Garrett’s line score, normalized to 40 minutes smoked what Malik did. But Self is apparently confident now in what Garrett can give, and so spiritual development of Malik took precendent over further development of Marcus for this game.

    Frankly, Self seemed to look at this as a home game he needed to steal by simultaneously playing his starters a ton of minutes, but preserving them and avoiding injury by Self’s latest exercise in counterintuitive ways to play the game of basketball. Soft Ball is in its way as startling and unprecedented as was Bad Ball.

    Here is the thing: everyone knew Self had to resort to something once Azubuike got his back out of kilter and Preston and De Sousa became quasi Lovecraftian interdimensional beings haunting us with the possibilities of their presences.

    Mere mortals like me and some other board rats speculated that Bad Ball 2.0 could be upon us.


    Soft Ball with 36 treys is upon us.

    Soft Ball is easier to name than to break down and explain.

    I confess, unlike Bad Ball, which had some recognizable precedents, I don’t know where Soft Ball comes from, or how it works exactly.

    Just saying it is only about shooting a mess of treys is reductive. It “feels” like there’s more to it than that.

    The wizard is playing with everyone’s heads again. He is taking the game in one of those new directions he does when invention necessarily needs a mother.

    Self may not even be sure what he is doing. He often seems not to be at his most inventive moments. Like artists, he figures it out afterwards, when that’s the only way; i.e., when desperation and inspiration coincide.

    You can usually tell when he is making shit up as he goes by looking at the assistants. They are usually looking around with puzzled expressions, like: what is THIS?!!

    Soft Ball caught me so by surprise, well, I didn’t even have the presence of mind to glance at the coaches!

    I was frankly is a state of shock. It was kind of like watching a near car wreck unspool in slow motion only for the cars to miss each other and everything to turn out okay after all.

    He is doing it AGAIN, was all I could think.



  • Is defense something you buy at the store?

    Or do you buy a subscription online, or need to see a doctor in order to get it…

    Wherever defense is, we haven’t found

  • @BeddieKU23 if we do find it available for purchase somewhere. I personally hope it’s one of those infomercials that goes on and on. “But wait there’s more”, “and we’re throwing in this with the deal”. Yes, yes for the love of God. Give us all the extras and triple the order. We know…we know. We will be happy to pay the separate processing

  • @jaybate-1.0 “To be blunt, Marcus Garrett’s line score, normalized to 40 minutes smoked what Malik did.”

    Howz that?

  • @jaybate-1.0 Really great post, some hilarious lines in there. Its also sad though because its true. Its like I want to laugh and cry at the same time.

  • Order size on D is one rebound per caller lol

  • @jaybate-1-0 enjoyable read buddy! I must confess I had given up on Malik though I assumed there would be some future upswing. I think Self’s juggling of Garrett and Newman has been perfectly fair to both. I missed the congrats to Svi on the assist. Assists, attititude, the rebounding effort, and the slashes are all welcome features. The threes from Malik are “a sometimes food”. I’m excited for Malik to inherit the drive and kick game from DTae that DTae has been encouraged to do last couple games. Save some wear and tear on him and keep that dimension to our game. Also I wonder if this might mean we can give Garrett more minutes at the 3 when we need Svis matador d to hit the pine.

  • @cragarhawk

    Oh that’s a perfect idea. Those deals where you have 10 minutes to claim the bonus prize are the best. Maybe we get a +10 rebound advantage package included and someone to take over Svi’s body after he hits a 3 and runs back on defense.

  • Random musings:

    A division win by 1 or 30 is a win, always will be. That’s the reality in our division and has been for years.

    I’m rooting hard for them, love them, but having a reasonably hard time seeing the path to how this 3-hucking, sporadic D, reboundless, don’t-know-how-to-circle-the-wagons-yet-toughness lacking team is going to repeat as B12 champs. At least we can blame some stuff on no Preston or De Sousa.

    And I never thought I’d see the day when Self would be basically nonchalant about the weaker shooters on the team hucking 3’s a few seconds into the shot clock - that used to be a guaranteed yank and yell. I know he is trying to adapt, and He is playing with what he has, but still don’t understand how Self is not at least going 🦍 -shite with lackadaisical effort on d. Maybe he is and I’m missing it

    Newman, despite his breakout game, still doesn’t feel like a good KU fit to me… can’t articulate why exactly I feel this way, certainly not well as some bucketeer heavies have recently.

    When will teams start team-foul-distribution hacking Udoke the second he gets the ball? One of the biggest disparities between FGP and FTP in the league.

    And this rumor just in - NCAA plans to clear Preston sometime in March - a day after KU gets eliminated from tourney. 😁

  • Self was incensed after Garrett passed up an open three–yelling, slamming the scorer’s table. He may have reacted this way more than once and the camera didn’t catch it. Pretty sure Marcus passed up more than one.

    Never thought I’d write these words, but…Garrett may have gotten the hook for not shooting enough low-percentage threes.

  • @ajvan

    I missed that. He wants Marcus to have confidence out there. Tape don’t lie, I’m sure they have seen how badly defenses are sagging off him. He had all day to think about the 1 three he did make, I could have whipped up a pot of coffee in the time he had to eye that one down. But I get the point, we were so used to Self acting the opposite - yanking kids for taking shots he didn’t like and now we have “greenlight Self”. Where did old Bill go?

  • @BeddieKU23 Self was pretty mad at Garrett in post game interview, over his D. Said that was his main job.

  • BeddieKU23 said:

    Is defense something you buy at the store?

    Or do you buy a subscription online, or need to see a doctor in order to get it…

    Wherever defense is, we haven’t found

    I’ve heard you can buy some defense at either of the following locations. – Walmart has it on Rollback right now OR if you like K-Mart has it on a blue light special - -but hurry at these prices these won’t last long - but wait we will double the order - buy ONE set of defense - they’ll give the other set - - -FREE at not extra charge - all you have to do is pay separate shipping and handling fees - hurry now while supplies last. - - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @Jayballer54

    Crap if we pay the separate shipping and handling it will be an impermissible benefit.

  • Since we made 5 of 13 FT’s I’m glad we only got fouled 12 times.

  • @BeddieKU23 Yeah, he’s at the point where he needs to get his trey reps in at practice and automatically shoot it in games when he’s wide open. Too much self-analysis going on. I imagine his hesitance on offense is hurting his normally great defense too.

  • BeddieKU23 said:


    Crap if we pay the separate shipping and handling it will be an impermissible benefit.

    lol, well as long as it’s impermissible maybe we can work out something with them - - seems like we might be into that anyways lol. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • @BeddieKU23

    I am sure KU has Amazon Prime and gets 2nd day free delivery.😀

  • @mayjay

    Hey, you’re right!!! I really screwed the pooch and didn’t run the numbers. Bad 'bate 1.0!!!

    Specifically, I confused good efficiency with low productivity.

    To wit…

    Marcus’ efficiency (2-3 FG)and (1-2 3pt) was good, but then I massively undervalued his low productivity on both over 15 minutes.

    This reflects my persistent bias in favor of optimizing shooting percentage and my tendency to skip over productivity per minute. I have always favored shooting percentage, because I think that if everyone is shooting a high percentage, someone or some few will always find ways to optimize productivity.

    My thinking goes like this: I would prefer Marcus to have shot 4-6 FG including 2-4 from trey over, say, over 30 minutes, to Malik’s 10-21 including 5-13, over 34 (or whatever Malik would standardize to at 30 minutes for the sake of comparison), because then players that were higher percentage 3pt scorers, like, Devonte, Vick and Svi, would have taken over Malik’s shots over and above what Marcus’ would have taken on an unproductive night, and KU would have won more easily. The game probably would never have gotten close with, say, Svi, who was 6-9 from trey, taking Malik’s treys.

    Basically, I always advocate having your best shooters shooting, especially if you have to win with the trey, because you lack an inside game.

    But it does little good to tolerate Marcus’ efficient, but unproductive offense, unless one redistributes his shots to someone more productive than Malik tends to be from three, like say, Svi, if Marcus can ALSO not hold up his defensive responsibilities on his efficient, but unproductive offensive night. This was apparently why Self indicated that bad defense was the reason he pulled Marcus, and not low offensive productivity, even if Self were peeved about Marcus not taking open looks before getting pulled.

    In many previous games, Self has endured Marcus’ low offensive productivity, and tentativeness about pulling the trigger, because Marcus contributed strongly to team defense. Put another way, Self realized he could get more defensive benefit with Marcus, than Malik, and shift the shooting attempts to other starters more efficient than Malik; that’s apparently why Garrett has played more than expected, and Malik has played less than expected (that and a head banging and a sore foot).

    BUT…to get back to the analytical goof by me…

    I let my bias for how to win interfere with my interpretation of a comparison between Malik and Marcus productivity and you did a good job of catching it. Thanks.

    Clearly, with Marcus both unproductive offensively and, apparently not defending well, Self logically defaulted to Malik’s 5-8 FG driving (excellent for a wing 62%) and 5-13 3pt (barely passable 38% from trey!). Self opted for more offensive productivity from Malik, when he could not get enough defense from Marcus to offset his poor offensive productivity.

    I like my crow with Gates Barbecue Sauce, please! It masks the taste of the feathers.

    Rock Chalk!!!

  • @jaybate-1.0 Shooting percentages can look good, but can be deceptive with smaller sample sizes, for sure. The 3 pt % of Mitch is an example. No one knows for sure whether if playing extended minutes at the 4 he would keep up his 50 % avg (prob lower now since he missed his only one last night).

  • @mayjay

    Its not the small sample size IMHO.

    I actively tradeoff lesser productivity and higher shooting percentages.

    Without a shot clock, a perfect game would be a 1 to 0 win, where in KU stalled the with possession for the entire game and KU’s one player was 1 for 1 and the opposing team’s players went either 0-0, or 0 for 1. In this case, efficiency would be 100% and productivity on a per minute played would be incredibly low.

    Few persons grasp efficiency and productivity, especially in a statistical context.

    To win, you always want both efficiency and productivity working for you.

    The trouble is that most persons are easily wooed by offensive productivity and tend to undervalue offensive efficiency and defensive “de-producitivty” if you will.

    Self knows approximately how many more stops on defense playing Malik costs KU, than playing Marcus.

    Self also knows approximately how much more inefficient Malik is than Marcus.

    Thus, Self knows that opting for Marcus’ productivity is a statistically VERY risky choice for the team’s hopes of winning.

    Self apparently decided by sometime around early to mid December that the chances of winning were much higher with Marcus’ defense and offensive efficiency, if the shots related to optimizing productivity were shifted to other starters (Devonte, LaCobra, and Svi), rather than to Malik, and his defensive issues.

    Now it could be that Malik has finally internalized the feedback and decided to increase his defensive contribution, and efficiency to a level that Self and team can afford Malik’s productivity benefits.

    A few more games will tell the tale on that.

  • Well…just ask any KU fan about the eye test, not the I/me/we test: B12 Champs goes thru WVa, and possibly OU, as WVU beat OU with a clever disruption of how OU attacks. Anyone think KU defense is capable of doing that to OU? And how will we handle WVU without Frankian handles, and looking/playing gassed in 4th period already, prior to PressVa?

    We had cartoonish turnovers from Devonte & point blank layup misses late vs Clones at home. ISU is proven nonfinisher, we just let them answer every run KU made, we made slightly less gaffes late than them.

    Don’t bet the wife on #14, as watching her get rode out of our own barn could be very unsettling.

  • I am not concerned about the number of 3s we shot. I am not concerned about the rebound disadvantage. I am not concerned about our team defense. This game was an R & R ( rest and relaxation for those of you in Garden City ) break, much like a corporation will throw together a “company meeting” at Las Vegas … wink, wink, nudge, nudge. This was a no grinder game, designed to give our exhausted players much needed rest, while beating a team without breaking a sweat. 3 ball it, baby.

    Save Doke for the big boys, and let him shrink his game down where max effort is not required except for a few plays when we really need a basket. Give our 40 minute point guard some badly needed rest (while playing) by running the offense through Svi in the first half, and Malik in the 2nd. Get Malik and Vick recharged, and get them going. No reason to turn up the volume- keep it on a 3 out of 10. Defensive intensity??? Against the Clones??? Why would we waste the energy? We want Devonte to be able to walk next game, right? Svi is begging the coach to cut his minutes back to 27. Vick looks like he is 42 on the last legs of a 20 year NBA career. They’re on Survivor Island, man.

    This is simply classic Bill Self basketball, by deamping the team playing against the cellar rats, so we’ll be able to amp up against the big boys. It’s how you win 13 conference titles in a row. We’re smarter than they are.

  • One more point: the reason a team with 5 guys scoring in double figures and a tough defense is so often able to prevail over a team with a one or two highly productive players and a tough defense often tracks underlying scoring inefficiency of the two highly productive players. The two highly productive players are often given the bulk of the FGAs not because they are the most efficient scorers, but because they are the most athletically able to create shots. This is a crucial distinction. Creating shots is not the same as making shots. Keeping mindful of this distinction is what has allowed Self to be sooooooo much more successful than many other coaches coaching similar or better levels and amounts of talented players.

    Self recruits athletic guys that can make plays. So: he highly values athleticism, or the ability to create shots and make plays. But he also prizes characters with swag, as he calls it. Self never loses sight of the fact that it is not enough to be able to “create” the shot, you also have to have the mind set skill necessary to “make” the shot. This is where so many coaches fall down. They fall in love with the player’s ability to create the shot, and stop insisting on efficiency as the ante to get the PT to begin “creating” AND “making” shots.

    Malik is a problem for Self not because of his attitude, really, but rather because of his skill level; that is why I keep harping on how much good it would do him to come back another season.

    Malik has the athleticism and mind set to be a highly productive player even without enough skill to allow him to be efficient.

    Self’s problem is that Malik is just right on the bubble between enough and not enough skill.

    His productivity is formidable every time either he unleashes himself, or the occasional times Self unleashes him.

    You want a shot created? Malik can create it.

    You want a shot made on a drive? Malik might be one of you first choices. You want a shot made outside? Malik may not be your first option on this team. Maybe not the second. Maybe not the third. There are two kinds of fall out from this situation. Malik not being a great trifectate yet makes them guard his drives much more; that makes it harder for Malik to create a drive. Apparently, this has all been somewhat tough for Malik to accept, without frustration, and so stay focused to do all the things necessary to have a good floor game on defense and on offense. Malik is NOT a bad guy, Malik is a highly focused, highly producitive guy, that is caught in a team situation that needs all of his floor game, and more efficiency, or for him to accept being less productive and let other guys do that job. Self Ball requires a good floor game and scoring efficiency, as foundations BEFORE one is entrusted to create and make, especially with gifted create and make guys like Devonte, Vick and Svi.

    Frankly, Svi has faced largely the same problem for all of his years at KU. Only middle of last season did he get efficient enough to unleash his productivity, but last years team just had too many guns ahead of him. Svi could have been very “productive” and inefficient from the beginning, but he was NOT remotely as efficient as guys like Frank Mason, Devonte Graham and Josh Jackson to name just 3. So: he has had a long gestation period.

    If you come to KU with a D1 grade floor game and scoring efficiency, you will play at least rotation minutes, heralded, or not.

    If you lack both, it seems not to matter how many stars you come with, you struggle until you acquire the floor game and the efficiency.

  • @KUSTEVE You could be correct, as we know you cant geek em up for every opponent. But that ISU game wasnt fun to watch, was it? Except for the last 60sec. Cannot call it a “nice” win. Nobodys arguing that a conf W isn’t important, we are more worried about trying to judge & prognosticate based on team performance. Their play gives little confidence to have any predictability for their next outing.

    There’s that little matter of uncontested layups for how many games now? Amped or not.

  • Ralster said:

    We had cartoonish turnovers from Devonte & point blank layup misses late vs Clones at home. ISU is proven nonfinisher, we just let them answer every run KU made, we made slightly less gaffes late than them.

    Don’t bet the wife on #14, as watching her get rode out of our own barn could be very unsettling.


    You distilled this hush puppy of a win better than anyone else has so far.

    I couldn’t even bring myself to talk about Devonte.

    Devonte alternated between his usual inspired play for stretches and was like a bad dream for other stretches of the game!

    I don’t know how a seemingly fully groomed, natural point guard that has already played a prior season at 2 and filled as the 1 maybe a quarter to a third of the time last season, can make some of the plays we saw last night against ISU. I really don’t.

    What I decided, in my recap, was to close my eyes and assume it was one of Devonte’s bottom third of the performance distribution games, and pray he doesn’t do ANY of those things in Morgantown, or we, DEAD!

    West Virginia is a real D1 Basketball team.

    West Virginia is big and strong and disciplined.

    They still put that press on you to see if you have a pair, and if you do, then they forearm smash you to see if you can take it.

    Huggs is a real D1 coach–almost shoe in Hall of Fame-er.

    God help us if everyone doesn’t come to play that night, because if they don’t, the trainer better stock a lot of Gerbers for the flight home, because there are going to be a lot of crying babies on board.

  • I’m a gut feel eye test guy. We played 4+1 last year, and yet I trusted that team, despite laboring with Lucas.

    Does anybody here trust this team yet? I don’t. I see a Roy team, get fired up mostly only on 1 end of court.

    So, speaking of Roy, they actually won a NC last yr by defense, rebounding, despite Justin Jackson trying to shoot em out of the gym. What a lesson, but not for Roy, as shucks, they’ve gotten beat couple of times by joke teams this season already. We recall that pattern, those of us old enough (always drop an inexplicable game or 3 every year). Shucks, we’re somehow in that style of play this year, and really it is mostly due to factors beyond Self’s control.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Ha, yes, but I’m not liking the taste of this distillery so far. I was sooo disheartened seeing warriors like Frank&Josh go down last year, that in October I watched the entire 6 game dvd set of the KU 2008 Tournament run, and now we are watching this particular squad and its lack of Selfian attributes.

    Taking away our 3 ball completely exposed how bad our post play is.

  • @Ralster I think you may have missed my point. The goal was to win by exerting as little effort as possible, and we accomplished that. With the right effort, we would’ve won by 30. That wasn’t our goal. Every year, we win ugly conference games where the team looks bad. The players look bad. The effort looks bad. But we win. With a bench as short as it is, we have to pick our battles carefully. This was a lackadaisical effort designed to help us rest while still winning. Why leave it all on the table against an inferior opponent? I’m just saying that last night’s game was not a game to draw conclusions from. I think our next game will be more of the same. We’ll do just enough to win the game, and that’s it. If we’re behind, Devonte will start bombing 3s. If we are behind, Doke will start dunking. Otherwise, we’ll beat Silo Tech in a closer than what we like fashion. With the exhaustion the team is feeling from overplaying minutes, they might even short hop the WVU game to save themselves for other battles.

  • @KUSTEVE I’m curious, why do you think the goal was to win exerting as little effort as possible?

    I just don’t think the evidence adds up here. Graham played 38 minutes, Doke 35, Svi 36, and Vick 36. If exerting as little effort was the goal, then cult hero Mitch Slap would have played more than 5 measly minutes (and the kid had a great block in his short time in the game). And Sam would have surely played more than 2 minutes (how did everyone enjoy the quick hook after the stupid foul – but Self got him back in pretty quickly).

    Help me understand.

    But I do think your premise is incorrect. I do not think for one minute that “amping” is a correct or reasonable consideration in games that really means something. And I think it’s really a major stretch in our first home game after a loss, with two home losses already under our belts, with a dogfight of a Big 12 race and NCAA seeding in the balance. This game was no gimme regardless.

    So I think the evidence adds up to the contrary.

    But theories are theories.

  • @Jayballer54 ,@ beddieKU23

    Perhaps it’s like those information websites or Facebook teasers where you click 75 times, only to discover there’s nothing there…

  • The B12 is a fight, and KU has to amp it up every game period. No other choice, since everyone can beat everyone else on any given night.

    Now, are Preston and de Sousa rebounders? I really don’t know that much about them.

    Before the NCAA tourney last year, HEM posted an interesting stat about defensive ranking (I forgot the exact parameters of the stat) and no team ever got to the final four ( or winning the tourney I forgot)lower than a certain number, and KU was below that number.

    What’s going to be our rebounding disparity stats before the tourney? Yikes


    You seem on the right track, now that I have had some time to think.

    I often argue this point, but usually in the past it has not made them look this soft.

    Some kind of Energy Management might be involved and it probably is triggering a softer looking style of play than we are used to, because of the heavy focus on energy managing Doke. Self has often rested his point guard on the floor by moving him to wing, and we are seeing some of that for sure. But there is something more going on half to 2/3s of a game: resting Doke. This KU Team needs as many minutes of Doke as possible. Self seems to be following the old rule Allen and Harp and others taught Wilt. Half of Wilt is better than no Wilt. Don’t foul out, even if it means long stretches of not going all out.

    Walking up court, weaving so Doke rests till the shot, shooting early in the clock, and three point shooting all over a 40 minute game cut energy expenditure on offense, rest and protect Doke, raise the POINTS PER OFFENSIVE MINUTE (fewer minutes are spent working for a shot, few ball reversals, minimal in out, etc.), and points per possession (shooting more treys does that), and shift more energy expenditure to defense. And on defense there are intensity levels they go only the last ten, and not even then if they don’t have to. Avoid injuries and exhaustion despite playing starters big minutes. Self has to conserve every drop of gas in this team’s tank.

    As a result, he is picking strategies that require less gas.

    Makes sense, Jethro. Thx 4 the reminder.

  • @Bosthawk HEM may have done so, as well, but below is what I had posted before the tourney last year about defensive metrics applicable to last year’s team and it’s historical context in terms of previous NC rankings: To answer your question, is this the worst defensive team under Self, the answer is YES, at least as measured by KenPom defensive efficiency ratings - and it’s not really close. In 10 of the last 12 years prior to this one, KU has had a top 10 ranked defense; 6 times in the top 5. The two lowest ranked years were '09 at #12 and '14 at 22. Right now we’re ranked 30th in DER. As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, no team has ever won a national championship with that low a defensive ranking. Now, those rankings are post tournament, so perhaps we will tighten up on the defensive end - although we’ve actually regressed on the metrics over the past few games.

  • @DCHawker

    Thanks for the telling statistical info… again, yikes 🙁

  • @DCHawker

    Went and looked at Kenpom to freshen up on that stat. I did the last 5 years.

    17- UNC - D #11, runner-up Gonzaga #1

    16- Nova- D #5, runner-up UNC # 21

    15- Duke- D #11, runner-up Wisconsin #35

    14- Uconn-D #10, runner-up Kentucky #32

    13- Louisville- D #1, runner-up Michigan #37

    12- Kentucky- D #7, runner-up KU #3

    Teams can make the finals with D Efficiency ratings outside the Top 20 but they don’t win. If you think KU has problems check out Duke at #91. They were over 100 until they got the Duke Bump for giving up 52 to Pitt, the worst P5 team in the country

  • @Bosthawk - Good memory. Here is the link. https://kubuckets.com/topic/5506/poor-defense-appears-fatal-we-shall-overcome

    On national champions and defensive efficiency, here’s a portion of that post from just before the tourney last season -

    1. Defensive Efficiency: If there is a big negative for KU’s chances of an NCAA title, it’s defensive efficiency. Kansas sits at 99th in defensive efficiency. Since Self has been the coach at KU, no team that has won the NCAA title has been worse than 74th. So we’re 25 spots away from that bottom-dweller position. Here is are the numbers for NCAA title winners for defensive efficiency, with Kansas shown for 2017.

    -2004: UConn 6

    -2005: UNC 19

    -2006: Florida 19 (KU was 1)

    -2007: Florida 16 (KU was 1)

    -2008: Kansas 4

    -2009: UNC 39

    -2010: Duke 9

    -2011: UConn 75

    -2012: Kentucky 9

    -2013: Louisville 3

    -2014: UConn 19

    -2015: Duke 63

    -2016: Villanova 14

    -2017: Kansas 99

    1. KenPom Defensive Efficiency: Using a different metric, KenPom’s efficiency ratings, the news doesn’t get any better. No NCAA title winner since 2004 has been worse than 21 in at the KenPom ratings regarding defensive efficiency. KU is now at 30.

    -2004: UConn 5

    -2005: UNC 7

    -2006: Florida 7

    -2007: Florida 15

    -2008: Kansas 1

    -2009: UNC 21

    -2010: Duke 5

    -2011: UConn 15

    -2012: Kentucky 8

    -2013: Louisville 1

    -2014: UConn 10

    -2015: Duke 12

    -2016: Villanova 5

    -2017: Kansas 30

  • @HighEliteMajor I’m unencumbered with an agenda that is designed to run down the team and the coach, so it allows me to see things differently than you.

  • Wow. Lol. Now that made me laugh. Some folks just need to tell you it’s pitch black outside even while squinting in the sun…

  • @KUSTEVE You are clearly trying to create personal conflict when there is none. Perhaps you have a difficult time when your thought process is challenged. Perhaps you view yourself as the pristine defender of KU basketball and Bill Self. Perhaps you just have an issue with me. All of which is fine. But whatever it is, it just comes off as petty – particularly when your reply is for no other purpose that to create confrontation.

    I am interested, if you actually have facts … point out to me where I have run down the team or the coach. I understand that I won’t fit your little tunnel of acceptability, but I am open to understanding if I’ve acted irrationally.

  • It’s not an attack on the team it’s posting facts. Fact is KU hasn’t been good defensively for awhile now which hurts your chances to win a title. I am hopeful that next year will be a return to stalwart defense but it will definitely take time due to so many new players.

  • @HighEliteMajor I think we’d both be better served if you would simply skip my posts, and I will be glad to skip all of yours. I think what you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re trying to sell.

  • @KUSTEVE Sorry, no deal. Free … your … mind.

  • KUSTEVE said:

    @HighEliteMajor I think we’d both be better served if you would simply skip my posts, and I will be glad to skip all of yours. I think what you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re trying to sell.

    Now buddy, let me say as a person who has plenty of umm let’s say intense conversation with some on here, let me say it is pointless for you to try and tell someone to just ignore or skip your threads lol. - -You see for some they are in a train of thought that will just not do, why? - Cause they feel the need to have the last word/say.

    I speak from experience and I’m sure you have seen some of these encounters I’ve even said I’m done and I’m moving on from this subject and yet they still feel the need to respond to that - -having some parting shot. You need kind of a thicker skin here sometimes which I just happen to have - on the other hand some don’t things get mis understood or just what others flat out don’t want to hear on things. - -I found out it’s best just to let things roll off your back l like water off a duck lol - It’s all good - -your my buddy there Jethro, really like reading your posts - -But who am I - I’m a black sheep/rebel here in the site some times I feel - -just rub people wrong , but hey lol it’s all good. keep your posting buddy enjoy seeing them. - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • Umm…topic change regarding IowaSt game: Franny Frashrilla is the BIGGEST Cyclone cheerleader there is, jesus…! He cant help spewing that stuff, basically whole 2nd half…

  • @HighEliteMajor I didn’t want to take the time to explain my post. It’s pretty obvious you didn’t have a grasp of what my meaning was, but wanted to challenge it anyway. It’s not that i don’t mind battling with you, challenging you, or at times, flattening you, so to speak. It’s just so much work, though. To deal with a person whose end sum game is to literally find fault in everything the coach does, and many of the players could actually turn into almost a full time job. Nothing personal, but I don’t think you’re worth it. If you think Bill is some diabolical creature from the Black Lagoon, then knock yourself out. Hopefully, we’ll go on a winning streak, and it will shut you up for a while, as our winning has silenced you before in the past. Remember the litter of kittens you had when Landen was named starter over Diallo, then we win 17 games in a row? I guess you went into hiding and we thankfully didn’t hear from you for a long time. So, there is always hope. All we have to do is win, and it seems to shut you up. So, RCJHGU. Cya- wouldn’t want to be ya…

  • Look, yall, USE the IowaSt game to explore what each of us various KU people see, when talking analytically. We arent all the same, we graduated with different majors from KU (or are just KU fans, its all ok!), and we may even think very differently politically. Thats simply what America is.

    Me personally, I’m having trouble seeing the current lineup get as far as we could if we got the 2 bigs eligible, although we all know it will take 3-4 weeks for them to become real contributors. Im the maddest at the NCAA, giving KU the shaft again!!

    Again, differring views ARE what make this board tick. We should be ok with that. Many of us have played or coached at whatever level, so we are going to have basketball opinions, right? And why be just cheerleaders, when the actual KU cheerleaders are far, far better looking, I’d guess…

    At the end of the day, we all want a KU WIN…

  • The ISU game did not change the current situation. This is a talented but fatally flawed roster as currently constructed. We don’t have the size to rebound, and we lack the depth to make up for it with frenzied pressure. We can’t win six games in March like that.

    That’s not even a criticism, really. That’s just a statement of fact. This team, in its current form, can’t win a title. I don’t even know that it will get to the second weekend. There’s a recurring nightmare of KU giving up offensive board after offensive board as a team shoots just 30% from three, but gets enough boards to ultimately upend KU in the Round of 32. That’s in play, folks.

    Maybe this squad gets hot and blazes the nets for a couple of games in the tournament, because we know when this team is on from three, there’s not a team in the country that can contain them, but even then, that probably pushes them to the Elite Eight at best. To win in March, you have to be able to win in a few different ways. This team can win one way right now. Unless Malik Newman suddenly shows that on any night he can drop 40 to prove that KU is never out of it, I don’t see this team getting deep without adding the size they so desperately need.

  • A pause in the hostilities for something that actually IS important: We had 73 degrees here in SC, which is the one thing I like about living here. But 100 million people are facing ice and snow from this front that liquified the hills around Montecito. Prayers for the grieving.

    OK, carry on (if you must).

  • @mayjay Thoughtful post. Prayers for all. Crappy Global Warming! lol

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