Cunliffe and Bill's Messages to Him



  • Self has said he doesn’t think Cunliffe is playing or practicing well.

    How does that square with:

    “I’ve always been a big believer that you send a bad message to somebody when you don’t have confidence in him."

    ???



  • Gotta be situational. He knows he’s not gonna have to count on Sam but he WILL have to count on Dok.

    Or he just goofed.



  • With Sam, it is just an observation of his of his current performance. With Doke, it is a belief in what his performance could be, regardless of what the observation tells you. He could easily say “Doke isn’t shooting free throws well in games and practice” and still put him in games because he believes in him. Now if he said he doesn’t think Sam has what it takes to play at this level: that might be a shot to his confidence.

    All of that being said: Self will say whatever he needs to massage his team to where he needs it to be.

    He routinely calls his team soft.

    He once told Joel Embiid that he didn’t have what it took so he should just go back to Africa.



  • I’m guessing it’s more attitude related than anything else. I hope he can get his mindset right, so we can see Sam play.



  • We’ve listened to coach Self for years. What he says is convenient for the moment, and may not be consistent in other moments.

    This quote is what many of us have said for years – ““I’ve always been a big believer that you send a bad message to somebody when you don’t have confidence in him.” In fact, when we have used that general sentiment to criticize coach Self, the Self defenders became quite angry. Some of that discussion regarding the quick hook and banishment that was a normal occurrence.

    Anyway, I’m glad Self has again confirmed that “we” were and are right on the confidence thing. I mean, if Bill Self says it, it must be right.

    Of course, no one in the rather inept media challenged Self on the confidence thing. “Ok, coach, when you talk about the importance of confidence, how much confidence does it give Udoka to have him stand over in the corner near the bench?” They never challenge him. Not asking for disrespect, just challenge his thought process, which is strained on some occasions. Not one media lackey challenged Self regarding Doke’s horrible free throw shooting form, and what exactly they have been doing with him in practice.



  • And then there is Mitch (I am paraphrasing from memory)- “Does it bother you when Coach Self is yelling at you?” Holly (I believe)

    Mitch, “No. Last year he didn’t yell at me at all and I didn’t get to play.”



  • I’m certainly no expert but with those comments we can put the over/under on Sam’s minutes for the rest of the year at 0



  • @BeddieKU23 Somehow I still think we’d still bet the under.

    But we’ll see. I think we saw the lightbulb go on for Newman. I do kind of wonder as someone had mentioned, if there is an attitude thing going on. Just searching. The guy is on the outside looking in. His best bet is that Vick/Newman leave, and we strike out on Langford.



  • HighEliteMajor said:

    @BeddieKU23 Somehow I still think we’d still bet the under.

    But we’ll see. I think we saw the lightbulb go on for Newman. I do kind of wonder as someone had mentioned, if there is an attitude thing going on. Just searching. The guy is on the outside looking in. His best bet is that Vick/Newman leave, and we strike out on Langford.

    I agree the lightbulb has certainly been fixed with Newman and his play is more important at this point of the season. I’m not surprised Sam isn’t playing based on the intel we had of him coming in. He hasn’t received a fair shake either to prove anything, however he seems to be stuck in no man’s land until he figures out how to play the way Self wants him too.



  • “…media lackey…” –@HighEliteMajor

    Not picking nits here, but that might be redundant. :-)



  • BeddieKU23 said:

    HighEliteMajor said:

    @BeddieKU23 Somehow I still think we’d still bet the under.

    however he seems to be stuck in no man’s land until he figures out how to play the way Self wants him too

    I have wondered if perhaps he is in the toughening box?

    I am hopeful, because the alternative seems like Self may have someone on the line with more stars.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    I hope he sticks it out, he’s already bailed on one college before. When we signed him there was a chance he was needed and now we see he’s not a rotation player this year. I’m sure this is what Sam needs for the long run if he doesn’t run from it.



  • @HighEliteMajor Good point, your mentioning that Self instructed Doke to stand in the corner near the Jayhawk bench. Was Bill figuring that if Doke did get fouled, it would definitely be an intentional…which would have twarted Kruger’s fairly simple tactics? If so, the refs did not buy into Self’s own tactics. Bill is not a simple thinker and spur of the moment planner. There had to be complex though maybe warring thoughts racing thru his mind at the end of that debacle.



  • @REHawk I was thinking if doke ran, and the no name bench guy chased him around to foul him, would that be intentional?



  • @BeddieKU23 On Newman, I think we saw a kid “get it”, the Bill Self way. This could be one of those classic situations where Bill Self’s handling of a kid put him on the right path for the rest of his basketball life. Self got through to him, it appears. I actually noticed itwhen he was really busting a** on rebounds. Something we hadn’t seen. With Cunliffe, we have the possibility that Self just might not think he’s good enough to play, and that time may never come. I do think he’s good enough, and I’m anticipating him “getting it” at some point. But I thought Andrew White was good enough, too.

    @REHawk The one thing we know is Bill Self regretted the last 4 minutes. He did something he rarely does and said he made a mistake. That’s a big deal. I’m sure he’s kicking himself, losing a big road conference win that was right there before him. He did freeze a bit, and didn’t react to Kruger’s offensive. But that is a rare, rare occasion. Self wins those games by an astounding percentage.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    Well said, Newman certainly has busted his rear on rebounds lately. His shot is gaining confidence and we’re seeing more flashes from him. This is a guy that could easily score 30 in a game for us at some point. I would actually like to see more offense run his way the way he’s performed lately. There were stretches in the OU game where he wasn’t involved. If he’s a guy that can get 20+ efficiently every few games we’re talking a 3 headed perimeter monster. Now if we could only figure out Vick. Seems frazzled by Malik emerging. Is that something you’ve noticed?



  • @Blown The Embiid deportation comment may have been slightly premature.



  • @BeddieKU23 Vick is just lost. It’s puzzling. Seems like he’s deferring more. That might have something to do with Newman coming on. Not sure why though. Newman coming on shouldn’t stop him for sticking a J or slamming in some dude’s face.



  • Self is catching flack for the Doke FT strategy response to Kruger’s having an EOB (end of bench player) go in an foul Doke.

    Initially, I sided with the crowd and thought he made a mistake, if for no other reason than that it did not pan out for a win.

    But with some time to reprocess, I have changed my thinking.

    In principle, Self was right as usual. I am pretty sure in hindsight that Self was just taking the heat saying he lost the game to keep it off Doke. Good for him. Self knows Doke missed the FTs and that Self’s strategy was sound.

    It WAS a good idea to have Doke stand in the corner to incur an intentional foul. Why? Self figure exactly right. If he could get Doke 3 FTAs on a flagrant, Doke making 43% would statistically speaking, make at least one and then Self would get to have Doke in on defense. Clear analysis. Solid tactics to an unusual, but not unheard of situation.

    In practice, however, the principle needs a little refinement. I don’t think a gambler needs to give Doke 3. 2 would likely be enough in most cases, since he shoots 43%. Next time, I would have Doke remain at the opposite end five feet in front of the basket we are defending to discourage, but not foul a fast break. If they want to pull a man back to foul him at the other end of the floor, fine. We can play 4 on 4 on offense just fine. And it would have to be an intentional foul in back court. Doke shoots 43%; that is nearly 50%, or 1 of 2. It is probably “close enough” to okay to settle for 1 of 2 most of the time in that situation, to have him rim protecting on defense. I often think post men should be kept back in those situations regardless.



  • @jaybate-1-0 So, with all the info you have now, and Bill Self saying the he was wrong, you’d leave Doke on the court? Not me. Not yet at least. I’d want progress on the “form” side first.

    I expect teams to foul Doke with the lead, coming down the stretch. If he makes 1/4, it’s a sound strategy. Heck, if he makes 2/4, it is still a sound strategy as I think we would average over 2 points otherwise every two possessions late anyway (we are good late in games).

    Doke’s 43% will go down because of late game pressure, which I think is what we saw in OU. I’d prefer he shoot baby hook shots – he might get 3/10 under pressure.



  • BeddieKU23 said:

    I’m certainly no expert but with those comments we can put the over/under on Sam’s minutes for the rest of the year at 0

    I’m starting to think there is a chance he might not be here next year.



  • @BShark That would be sad for Sam. What are the rules for a second transfer?



  • @HighEliteMajor You’ve already responded positively to my ideas, so thanks. I do think we need to distinguish between fouling Doke and sending in a designated fouler. We should no longer tolerate an end of bench player coming in just to foul Doke. If that happens, either send in Mitch or have Doke avoid the fouler so that any foul becomes blatantly intentional.

    Now, if “real” players foul Doke, that is part of the game and Self needs to make the tough decision. You are addressing that situation I believe, not the designated fouler.



  • @Barney He would lose a year of playing unless he went to D2 or lower.



  • HighEliteMajor said:

    @BeddieKU23 Vick is just lost. It’s puzzling. Seems like he’s deferring more. That might have something to do with Newman coming on. Not sure why though. Newman coming on shouldn’t stop him for sticking a J or slamming in some dude’s face.

    Yeah he shouldn’t be deferring but he is and there’s zero confidence in his shot right now. There was one shot he took where they ran pick and pop with him, wide open barely made rim. His whole shot seems off, almost as if he changed it up to a shorter release. We have seen very little of his midrange game that we know he has as well. Above everything I’m just noticing what looks like disinterest. He should be our best perimeter defender and should absolutely be someone we rely on to get to the rim consistently and we get a ton of softness. I know that’s critical but I would imagine Self is just as hard on him lately. Hopefully tomm we see some better play, it’s all we can hope for right now



  • @BShark

    I would like to stay away from saying that just yet because transferring again would just seem redicilous for him, he could have just sat this semester and still had 3 to play 3. We will certainly see how he responds to his coaches words and the toughening of not playing right now. I always thought his best ball would be after this year. However I did think he’d play every game so I’m perplexed at our starters playing so many minutes still



  • BeddieKU23 said:

    @BShark

    I would like to stay away from saying that just yet because transferring again would just seem redicilous for him, he could have just sat this semester and still had 3 to play 3. We will certainly see how he responds to his coaches words and the toughening of not playing right now. I always thought his best ball would be after this year. However I did think he’d play every game so I’m perplexed at our starters playing so many minutes still

    I would have a tendency to agree, I just can’t bring myself to see Sam transfer again - -and then sit ANOTHER year -just wouldn’t make a lot of sense - I mean he could - -and I have thought actually that IF anyone did I would probably be him BUT having said that - - I just don’t see it. - - ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY



  • @Jayballer54

    I just feel maybe we are overreacting to him not playing and just automatically assuming the worst. Our thoughts certainly could be right but id like to see him stick it out especially with how many guards could be leaving the program at seasons end.

    In the end Sam not playing is his own fault, he had a full year to get on board with his coach and figure this out. We have seen some promise, some typical issues that are expected of guys who need time in the system. It’s entirely possible Sam didn’t pick the right spot to transfer into and expect immediate playing time with how the roster is perimeter heavy. Simply waiting his turn could be the best thing he could do right now and take everything his coaches are telling him in a positive way



  • @HighEliteMajor

    You make a good case.

    Next close game we will know for sure.

    My hunch is Doke will be in whenever Self needs to win it with defence and rim protection.

    Out when he needs FTs more, and 43% isn’t a high enough probility to get it done. .

    I just don’t see how we can take Self seriously on his assertion that he blew the game, when that is so far from his usual MO and logic.

    Usually he hangs it on the players big.

    And sooner or later Doke is going to shoot back to average. I can see why he bet on Doke and then blamed himself.

    Now is not the time to make his only credible post feel like a pile of do-do.

    Doke is hardly the first player to have a nightmare game at the line. Wilt had many.

    And Phog told Wilt no matter what, you are more important playing even half speed than on the bench.

    Doke is not as good as Wilt, but Doke maybe almost as important to this short handed KU Team, as Wilt was to his teams over the year.

    I don’t see how KU can be better without him, even at the end when they are fouling him.



  • BeddieKU23 said:

    @Jayballer54

    I just feel maybe we are overreacting to him not playing and just automatically assuming the worst. Our thoughts certainly could be right but id like to see him stick it out especially with how many guards could be leaving the program at seasons end.

    In the end Sam not playing is his own fault, he had a full year to get on board with his coach and figure this out. We have seen some promise, some typical issues that are expected of guys who need time in the system. It’s entirely possible Sam didn’t pick the right spot to transfer into and expect immediate playing time with how the roster is perimeter heavy. Simply waiting his turn could be the best thing he could do right now and take everything his coaches are telling him in a positive way

    I just don’t see anything beneficial for him to transfer again. - I mean he transfers and he has to sit ANOTHER year - -you only got what 5 years to play 4 - so wouldn’t another transfer cut further into his eligilibilty?



  • @BeddieKU23 dont you think Sam and coach probably had a pretty good talk before he decided to come here? No way would Self put up w/that media 💩 Sam pulled at asu. Totally opposite of a self team. I just gotta think Sam knows what he was getting into when he decided to come to KU.



  • @Crimsonorblue22. if you look at his face on the bench I see a guy who is really frustrated and not doing a very good job hiding it. You can almost hear him thinking…garrett can’t score and i could drop some 3 balls!



  • @Fightsongwriter I agree.



  • @Fightsongwriter coaches face is probably saying I wish Sam could play D so he could fill in. Jk



  • Here’s the thing on Sam, and maybe my eye ain’t that good, but I have not thought his defense has been bad. In fact, in one game (TT or TCU), I came away thinking he played some pretty good defense. Has anyone thought his defense has been bad (forgetting that ugly foul and quick hook vs. ISU I believe).

    Sam and Silvio are the only guys who have negative +/-, and the lowest +/- for regulars is 5.7 (Malik). It’s just one stat. It seems accurate with Silvio at least.

    I think his lack of time is simple. Our top four guards are easily ahead of him. That leaves Garrett. And it can be as simple as one man, Self, just preferring Garrett – whether rational, irrational, or whatever. I like Garrett, and he was more aggressive last game I thought, but it seemed like he was simply a body out there for a while. He is pretty good defensively. And he’s a good complement right now. Safe player.

    We have Grimes and Dotson coming in. But you never know. Vick leaves, we don’t get Langford. Then Grimes “isn’t getting it” and Sam is starting, because he “knows our stuff.” Who would be shocked by that? That’s a narrative that could easily play itself out in Self-land.



  • Marcus doesn’t make the bone headed mistakes that Sam makes and Bill can’t stand mistakes. More so than making plays, I believe Bill wants to see no mistakes. That raises the floor, but also lowers the ceiling.



  • Marcus D is solid but his O is terrible, he just can’t score. That puts a lot of pressure on other 4 players. Self is being irrational here.



  • AsadZ said:

    Marcus D is solid but his O is terrible, he just can’t score. That puts a lot of pressure on other 4 players. Self is being irrational here.

    Garrett is 30-71 from the floor, Cunliffe is 9-21. Not a discernible difference.



  • Now several days removed from The Debacle, I have digested the OU loss with less discomfort. Four huge factors for Bill Self in those closing minutes: the clock, the scoreboard, Doke’s free throw shooting, and the refs’ decisions. Self came up empty on all 4 possibly positive outcomes. That is just the game of basketball. The team, coaching staff and fans all gotta bite the bitter bullet and move forward. And in the meantime, Mitch had best spend extra hours in the gym, preparing to await the call to save a game or two.



  • @BShark You are only taking 2pt into consideration. I am certain you know MGs 3pt % is at .185. Opposing teams don’t even guard him on the perimeter. By taking both 2pt and 3pt into consideration Cunliffe is shooting almost 5% better than MG in a very limited role.



  • No that is total shots not 2 pointers. So it accounts for both. I guess we will see what happens, but I still don’t think he ever plays much.



  • “Consider this: In Cunliffe’s 57 minutes so far this season, the career 36 percent field goal shooter has taken more shots per minute than senior point guard and leading scorer Devonte’ Graham.”

    ~Matt Tait

    Not a formula for more playing time.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    Garret falls in the category of players that will not win you games but will not lose you games either. His defense is very good so it keeps him in the game; lots of other scorers to pick up the scoring load so his lack of scoring has not been critical…yet…



  • Yeah, really not sure why Self plays this Garrett kid. :rolling_eyes:



  • Garrett passed on a number of opportunities to push his offensive game tonight, but tonight was better. Can’t wait to see him next season once DG and Svi are gone.



  • HighEliteMajor said:

    Garrett passed on a number of opportunities to push his offensive game tonight, but tonight was better. Can’t wait to see him next season once DG and Svi are gone.

    He might start next year as a “safe” option, we know how much Self likes those. I’m not sure if he will ever be one of our 5 best offensive players even, but he can contribute to winning basketball and certainly be much better than he is on offense now.



  • Up 18 at home and 0 pt. He aint gonna play. A waste IMHO.



  • 0 minutes too. That gorilla glue Self uses is really strong.



  • I’ve been more puzzled by Selfs moves this year than ever (yes, Coach is a HOF guy and great but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t make mistakes or that everyone should always agree, for the homers). Today’s game for instance, we lead all but the opening few minutes and were up by double digits nearly the last 30 minutes of game clock. Why wasn’t Sam used at all? Why wasn’t DTG given a rest, tho he looks tired (shooting 6/30 in the last 2 games)? Why did Mitch get all of Dokes minutes in the second half after the T instead of Silvio getting some? Mitch had 1 foul and 1 rebound in 10 second half minutes and continues to give up offensive rebounds way too easy. Self also talked this week about how hard it would be to change Doke shooting motion from the line in 48 hrs. Yes I agree, but come on he was able to go from June on and played in Italy seems to me that would have been a pretty decent time to do so. It now is a weak link and I honestly don’t know if Mitch is ready to hit fts with the game on the line. He seems to have improved in that area while shooting 82% this season but only has shot 17 of them, both of which are an improvement from the 12 he shot a year ago only making 17% of them. I think we have to go small in those situations and hope the opposing team doesn’t go inside.



  • @kjayhawks It seems evident to me that Sam just isn’t going to be part of the team this year. For better or for worse.

    I agree that Graham needs some rest. The team has tilted off its axis when he has gone out in the past this season. However, Newman seems improved now, so maybe going forward Self could try to get him a breather here and there.

    Silvio was fairly lost on offense again (I know he was only in two minutes, so it’s hard to tell too much) but he managed to be okay on the defensive end. It would have been nice to see Self try to sneak him some more minutes for sure. Mitch is the “safe” option though, even when he is getting dumpstered inside by A&M’s post players. Ultimately it didn’t matter today. I’m fine with Mitch at the end of games though, unless he proves he can’t make fts. Depending on the situation of course. If we have the lead and the other team has the ball going for the last shot, I want Doke out there.


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