What's Your Biggest NCAA Worry/Concern/Fear?

  • Mine is two-fold.

    1. We get a number one seed and, as inconsistent as we’ve been throughout the season, we become the first number one to lose to a sixteen seed. Yikes…

    2. Wichita State wins the whole damn thing. Puke.

  • Ugh- I hope this doesn’t get stuck in my head like a song.

  • My concerns for the NCAA tournament are always based on matchups.

    My nightmare scenario for KU is VCU as a Round of 32 opponent, Michigan State as a Sweet 16 opponent and Syracuse as an Elite 8 opponent. To me, that’s the worst possible set of matchups for this particular KU team.

    VCU’s havoc exposes KU’s occasionally shaky ball security. Michigan State could expose the fact that we sometimes back down when we get hit in the mouth. Syracuse’s zone is a nightmare for a team that doesn’t always shoot well from the perimeter.

    This KU team is very talented, but vulnerable to certain specific styles. That is what makes the tournament so scary.

  • I have only one concern about the tournament. And it isnt guard play, three point shooting, or who we match up with.

    What concerns me is their intensity. We have seen them this year at certain times with the full intensity and energy that it takes to get to the final four.

    In the tournament, Self is going to have to get them ready to play and not come out with no energy. I know that some on here think that Self amps them for one game but doesnt for the next. If he indeed does that, it is a risky strategy, and one that is not reliable enough. Despite what some might say, it is possible to bring your full intensity for two games in a row.

    What happened to the '10 and '11 teams, which were arguably the best teams that year, was that they didnt bring the necessary intensity to win. And, like dominos, that lead to them chucking up outside shots that wouldnt fall.

    That is what happened to KU last night. For a minute there I was a little concerned about if they were going to win or not. Fortunately, they decided to start driving the ball and being aggressive.

    I just wish that the two aforementioned teams would have been aggressive like that when the shots werent falling. Hopefully, Self has learned something from those games and will tell his team to not shoot jumpers, but rather attack the rim.

    The '12 team proved to all of us that you do not need good outside shooting to go to the championship game. The only thing that this KU team needs to get to Dallas is intensity. And Im talking about the intensity they played with against Texas. They looked like they wanted to win more than Texas.

    I guarantee that there will be a game this year, possibly the second round or Sweet Sixteen, where the shots arent falling and the other team takes the lead in the second half. What are they going to do? Will they do what they did against VCU and try to shoot their way out of a slump? Or will they do what they did last night and attack the paint, get out in transition, and force the other team to bad shots?

    I am hopeful, after last night, that Self will instruct them to attack the rim and get out in transition. Going inside is the key on offense for this team and is what they will have to do A LOT in the tournament.

  • @nuleafjhawk Let’s not live in the past of old memories and recall bad loses. Let’s learn from the mistakes and move ahead. One of the great adjustments Bill Self made that has impacted this program over the last few years is quality preseason games. Some coaches schedule “cupcakes” to “pad” their W column. KU did that and then got exposed in the dance. I would rather get beat, thumped, or exposed pre-season than post-season. It can then be used as a learning tool on tape. I don’t remember past players mentioning “tape” as part of their vocab on past KU squads. It sounds like they are learning and growing from games. If you look at other programs, they may have a great winning record or maybe undefeated, but at what cost? No matter how great or good you think your record reveals you to be, you’ll get exposed because you’ve not been tested in situations with teams that provide you with learning experiences. Self has learned and as head coach, he is taking pre-season as important as the post-season. The pre gets you ready for the post. I really like what this KU team has endured. I like to hear how they are learning. They’ve grown since stepping foot on the hill. I feel much better after working out most of the kinks and have a sense this team will thrive in March.

    My one worry/concern/fear would be for the guys to become content. A content team is a team that will lose. They’ve got to be hungry and over achieve, regardless of so called seed or rank. Forget seeds and ranks. Just play the game.

  • My biggest fear is that we again play “tight”. Self’s teams here have a history of doing this. In all of the upset losses, this happened. Maybe Michigan only in the last 2 minutes. Heck, I was at the Davidson game and we played tight as heck the whole game. Pulled the string on shots, missed Fts. Fortunately things went our way. To an extent that comes with the territory with the focus on the dance and the pressure of being a high seed. All teams experience it to some degree, but Self’s teams have exhibited more often than most.

  • I have no worries in March. I’m just going to enjoy the ride …

    @nuleafjhawk – the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

    Actually, the same things that worry me every March, 1) poor/inconsistent officiating, and 2) coach Self.

    The nightmares of VCU.

  • @HighEliteMajor me too!

  • @nuleafjhawk

    I fear myself. 🙂

    I scheduled myself onto flights during two recent KU basketball games, simply because I forgot to consult the KU basketball schedule. One had no internet service. The other I had no lap top for connecting to available internet service.

    I grow old … I grow old …
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled." –T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

    “After such knowledge, what forgiveness?” –T. S. Eliot, Gerontion


    “In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing The soul’s sap quivers.”

    Ah, but…

    “Here, the intersection of the timeless moment Is England and nowhere. Never and always.”

    Strike England.

    Add Allen Field House.

    "There are flood and drouth

    Over the eyes and in the mouth,

    Dead water and dead sand

    Contending for the upper hand.

    The parched eviscerate soil

    Gapes at the vanity of toil,

    Laughs without mirth.

    This is the death of earth.

    Water and fire succeed

    The town, the pasture and the weed.

    Water and fire deride

    The sacrifice that we denied.

    Water and fire shall rot

    The marred foundations we forgot,

    Of sanctuary and choir.

    This is the death of water and fire."

    But mercifully, or savagely…

    "If you came this way,

    Taking the route you would be likely to take

    From the place you would be likely to come from…"

    You too would see that…

    "All manner of thing shall be well

    By the purification of the motive

    In the ground of our beseeching."

    And know that…

    We shall not cease from exploration

    And the end of all our exploring

    Will be to arrive where we started

    And know the place for the first time."

    Despite our woeful schedule reading

    and misreading that leaves us pleading

    for an internet connection

    "When the tongues of flames are in-folded

    Into the crowned knot of fire…"

    Breaks me down into a frayed rope of hope…

    “And the fire and the rose are one.”

    (Note: all unattributed quotes are from T. S. Eliot’s Little Gidding.)

    Rock Chalk!

  • I can’t quote T.S. Eliot, but here’s my wheelhouse:

    #####“Duke is an ugly word in Kentucky. Nothing in the world compares to the joy of beating those hateful swine from Duke.”#####

    and one more for good measure:

    #####“March is a month without mercy for rabid basketball fans. There is no such thing as a ‘gentleman gambler’ when the Big Dance rolls around. All sheep will be fleeced, all fools will be punished severely… There are no Rules when the deal goes down in the final weeks of March. Even your good friends will turn into monsters.”#####

    Hunter S. Thompson

  • @bskeet Nice. Was wondering when he said that… looks to be during the J J Redick era:


  • @bskeet

    “This is bat country.” –HST

  • I fear mizzery won’t make the tournament. Ergo, can’t lose in the first round. However, a first round loss in the NIT would be pretty cool, too…

  • @nuleafjhawk

    Biggest concern: inconsistent officiating!

  • People still stuck on VCU loss. Sure, it hurt, because we were the overall 1-seed, and that year Dook got an easy-path National Championship.

    Put yourself in Self’s shoes and consider going into the VCU game, that your Jayhawks played lights-out against Richmond, and in the same arena, no less. So is he really going to change his pattern vs. another foe, especially with only 24hrs to prepare? And NOBODY mentions the fact, when talking about VCU, that maybe Self & staff told the players all they needed to know about the scout on VCU and they just didnt execute it? And how on earth is he going to foresee a trusted senior shooter like Reed going 1for7 from 3? And Markieff with 6 turnovers? That’s 12 possessions right there, and you all know Self says all the little things add up. Tyshawn DID drive it, and scored, and Marcus did his part. The 2 of them had 34-35pts combined, but nobody else helped, and Brady (25pts vs. Richmond) chose to play hotpotato. Nor did Brady do his lock-down-trademark-D, right when we needed it the most, nor his 3gun (we could have used). Let’s summarize that game in another way: our PTP’ers (Tyshawn, McM) did produce, the others were simply unable to back up the pregame swagger and talk, because thats not who they were. Not too much Billy Self can do about that. How do you make a team of upperclassmen “hit” their shots and play D?

    But enough about 1 tourney loss…as there are surely worse (killer B’s, anyone?)

  • @ralster You must learn from your mistakes that you made in order to not make them again. For example, if there is a game when the team is not shooting well and you are behind by double digits (VCU game), do you keep shooting or do you drive the ball?

    I remember that game and they did not drive the ball and pound it inside from the beginning like you claim. Reed should not have been 1-7 for the game. He should have been like 1-4.

    It was in the second half that the team decided to finally go to their strength, which is going inside. Unfortunately, they had dug themselves too deep of a hole in the first half.

    The point I was trying to make was that Self needs to learn that when the shots arent falling you tell the team to drive the ball and get inside to the big guys. It is VERY risky to bank on guys like Reed and Morningstar shooting their way out a slump, especially in an Elite Eight game.

    And yes, that is what Bill Self could have done.

  • And as a matter of perspective, there is definitely worse than a Tourney exit in whatever year: You could spend your life rooting for a non-royalty program & praying each year that your team simply makes the field of 68 teams…no guarantees. Funny that royalty program assumptions/expectations are different than those of the other 350+ Div. 1 teams…

    Enjoy each year’s run. Thank god for the chance that Bill Self gives us every year…and even in the year we didnt think we had much of a chance, the hearts of Robinson and Taylor showed what is possible with intense effort, and came within 3 missed dunks and a couple of clanked FTs of KU immortality.

  • @DinarHawk I actually totally agreed with your post, and was going to do this reply. Yes, I remember Tyshawn driving it the 2nd half, as you say…In the first half we simply were running our offense, passing it to Reed for the kick-out 3…and maybe the fool’s gold in that 1 fateful game was that Tyrel Reed hit his very first 3 att, the one that toilet-bowled around and dropped. So the offense continued to try that approach. And the inside game got hamstrung by Markieff’s 6 turnovers (lane violation, stepped on baseline, etc…).

    I think the next year, Self was forced to have Tyshawn “just drive it” due to no depth & stagnant offense…I think THAT brought Self out of his tendencies…plus the BIG fact that Tyshawn got better at penetrating to finish or draw fouls, instead of charging. Last year he lamented EJ’s lack of dribbledrive as EJs FT att were way down. In SelfBall, driving it is secondary to feeding the post, so the post game has to be frustrated to resort to driving, as in 2012, TRob was often doubleteamed, and Withey wasnt able to get his own shot reliably, thus the fallback DribDrive. But nice to see him quicker now to ask for penetrating pressure. I think that is the lasting legacy of Tyshawn’s ability: the impression on Self’s philosophy that I think it has obviously made.


  • What we have been developing this year is the ability to slash and draw fouls, be it Naa or Mason or Wiggybaby or Selden. We’ve even seen Ellis and Traylor dribble drive. I like the aggression, as it puts fouls on foes, which gets their guys cycling to the bench, cold, and out of rhythm.

    This will allow us a better chance to win on a night the 3s arent dropping.

  • My biggest fear is poor PG play. I’m a Tharpe fan, but the games where we’ve had trouble and lost have been: when we are physically over-matched up front, and when we encounter two PG issues - either we are pressed/trapped and handle it poorly or we run into a PG mis-match and Tharpe’s defensive deficiencies are exploited. I feel like we have gotten past the issue of facing more physical teams. I think we are better equipped to handle the press & traps. But I still think it’s a crap-shoot as to whether Naadir can handle an elite PG on the defensive end. We did just see him completely shut down Isaiah Taylor in the Texas re-match. Can he get that dialed in consistently? I don’t know.

    There’s also always the things that you can’t control - injuries, poor officiating, and an opposing team/player getting uncharacteristically hot from 3.

  • @ralster Sorry about that!

    You are right about Self coming out of some of his old tendencies. By what theyve done lately, it looks like he might have learned from the losses to Northern Iowa and VCU.

    This year, like you said, we have more guys that are able to score driving the ball than maybe ever in KU history. There is no reason why during a tournament when the shots arent falling to have quick ball movment around the perimeter, make the defense work, then penetrate the gaps in the defense.

  • @nuleafjhawk My one big fear is of a bad loss. Here are my two most-feared bad loss scenarios, related to KU’s personnel.

    1. Wiggins disappears. I want Wiggins to continue his gradual, measured rise into the college hoops stratosphere. He doesn’t have to play hero ball down the stretch, but he needs to keep attacking the rim, being active, playing hard. If he struggles to score, he can generate offense at the free throw line by driving it and getting fouled. As long as Wiggs doesn’t fade in the Big Dance, his #1 RECRUIT tenure in Lawrence will be a success in my book and will help Self keep bringing in top talent.

    2. Our small guard committee fails. Tharpe. Mason. Frankamp. This has been dissected enough. As much as I want these guys to play with a chip on their shoulders and succeed, PG is our most inconsistent position and this is the most likely place we’ll see costly lapses. Let’s hope not!

  • I have decided to have a new fear each day regarding the Tourney.

    Yesterday it was fear of scheduling myself in the air during a big game in the Tourney.

    Today, it is that Dick Vitale will commentate a crucial KU game while frontally nude.

  • There are two ways to beat teams that are a threat at 3…

    1. Play good perimeter defense. Challenge every shot, and deny easy passes that allow shooters to go into an easy shooting motion. Fight hard through all ball screens… get out on top of the screens.

    2. Exhaust their guards. I’ve never seen totally exhausted guards put on a shooting clinic from 3 in the second half of a game… never. So we run some press to keep the tempo up and make their guards work hard the entire game. And we keep the tempo up… lots of quick passing, some open court game… lots of on and off ball screens requiring their guards to fight through… constantly use our bench to substitute so we stay fresh and fast!

    Amazing how teams don’t use exhausting their opponents as a strategy. In football, it is well known and used. When a team’s offense continually goes 3-and-out it puts pressure on their defense to have to keep playing on the field. Consequently, defenses get tired and start giving up more first downs… more points.

    Why don’t we ever seem to use exhausting our opponents as a strategy? How many teams have our level of quality depth?

  • @jaybate can’t wait for tomorrow’s fear update!!!

  • @VailHawk scary!!!

  • @drgnslayr Agreed, we are way way deep. Run them into the ground.

  • @JayhawkRock78 so… Let’s talk okie state. Game plan?

  • I don’t have the bball IQ so many do on these threads. In general I would push the ball up quickly and pound the paint. When they start collapsing kick it out for the trey. If that isn’t falling work it back in and alternate a drive to the bucket with pull up jumpers when challenged. And be all means cover Smart like a blanket to deny him the ball.

  • @JayhawkRock78 match ups? Wiggins on smart? Dang Forte, think Tharpe can handle him? Trying to remember last game.

  • @JayhawkRock78 Forte had 23 pts, osu had 18 pts off fast break, to our 2. Just remember it was ugly!!! We out scored them by 12 in paint.

  • Just returning to the original topic of this post – anyone notice what Virginia is doing right now? A team executing like that but under the radar a bit is dangerous.

  • Fear for the Day:

    Bob Knight trims his eye brows on national TV.

  • Fear of the Day Daily Double:

    Snacks dances nude in the locker room after KU wins the NC.

  • @jaybate 1.0 if we win NC I wouldn’t care if anyone danced nude!!!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 - You took the words right out of my mouth, oh it must have been while you were…STOP. Some days I can’t express anything without turning it into song lyrics.

  • @nuleafjhawk My biggest fear is we do not find a way to win at Okie St. This game could be the launch pad for our quest of the NC. Against a hungry team (on the bubble) that needs a win to get in is like a lower ranked team that need a win to advance in the tournament. If we win this one, I think, our freshmen would graduate from the experience department. This one is huge and have the tell tales of how we are going to do in the tournament. RCJH

  • @nuleafjhawk Definitely mine would be losing an early game because of a lack of intensity, will, toughness, fight. I have a good feeling about the tournament for KU this year though. All we need is the basketball Gods to be nice to us and convince the selection committee to give us potential teams that are beneficial to us winning the games!! 😉 RCJH!! #DecadeOfDominance

  • @Shanghai_Hawk agree, next game! Then Texas tech , and so on!

  • “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”-Marianne Williamson

    My fear is that our guys know how athletic and dominating they can be but don’t always realize that in the games. We need to show that we are the big dogs in every game. I think our guys sometimes shy away from that will kill mentality although they have been better lately. My deepest fear is that this is quite possibly the most talented team ever assembled at KU and that we may leave something on the table. I think early in the season Wiggins exemplified the last line of that quote perfectly. He seemed to defer to much wanting to be the ultimate teamate. Lately he’s been more agressive and I love that. If allt hese guys realize their full potential consistently they will be cutting down the nets in Jerry’s world. (that stadium is awesome by the way)

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I’m sorry, but when I saw the feed of Snacks dancing after the OU win, I DO FEAR IT!!! 🙂

    The coaches and Hudy have to have an intervention before we lose him to high fructose corn syrup!!!

  • Fear and Fear Again

    Jay Bilas sues KU for beating Dook in a 4 overtime national championship game.

  • Fear Fouls Out

    All five starters foul out without making a basket, because all of the SI Swimsuit Models are seated behind the KU bench in the National Championship Game in see throughs.

  • Fear Beams Up

    Men without faces show up in the KU locker room during half time of the national championship game and their leaders says, “Beam us up,” and “The Mysterious Disappearance of the KU Basketall Team” joins “Mystery at Roswell” and “The Lost Squadron in the Bermuda Triangle” as staples of the UFO Channel.

  • Fear Antes Up

    Before the next OSU-KU game, T. Boone Pickens offers each referee $10M worth of shares in a new start up called Windmills’r’Us to ensure a favorable outcome. Each referee wears a little windmill pin on his lapel during the game.

  • @HawkInMizery

    Awesome post!

    Hey… the home game with Texas showed how these guys can play when inspired. Look at the stat line… we only shot 1.6% higher than our average from the field. But we blew them out because we controlled possession count… out-rebounding them, more blocked shots and steals than them, and less turnovers than them. We fought tooth and nail and drew more fouls and shot more FTs. We played good defense and shut down their offense to just 34.4% from the field. The stat line showed what an inspired Kansas team can play like.

    Now compare that to the Texas game in Austin. We didn’t show up. We lost in all those areas I listed above concerning possessions… add on top of that our poor shooting from the field. We were very fortunate Texas only shot 42.9% from the field or we could have been smacked with the same level of beat down we gave them in AFH.

    Maybe our best strategy moving forward is to completely stop practices and just get together in a southern baptist church and receive high-inspiration sermons from a motivating preacher man. I say this because all the work and strategy means nothing if the guys don’t show up to execute.

    I really don’t see how these guys can maintain a constant motivation through March. They haven’t shown that type of motivational endurance all year. In fact… really… I think they only played really 2 games with some level of real motivation; Texas and Duke.

    That is why it may be best to lose a couple more games before the tourney. Lets see if we can really blow it and get knocked down to a 3 seed. And lets see the national east coast media come raining down on all of these freshmen. Bring the clouds and the darkness… Bring down the tent on our circus.

    Then we have a team meeting… and then players like Tarik step up and earn his nickname, “Black Death!” JoJo has a flashback to a tough survival moment in Cameroon. Something pops in Jamari’s head… the smell of one of those cars he was sleeping in… and how cold he was. I’m pretty sure other players on this team have closets full of bones, too.

    That’s the type of brew that needs to come from a stirring pot.

    It’s the brew they are drinking down there in Wichita. Marshall has his guys drinking the punch.

    I’m hiding my deep fear. My deep fear that we might hit a wall in March trying to replace “66-65” with a better headline.

    Lets face it… we all have that fear down there somewhere.

    If we finally get that game with the Shockers… I’m hoping Self picks up the microphone and sits on a wood thrown similar to Jim Jones… and he unleashes a flurry of psychological blurb that makes these guys realize just how important that game is for Jayhawk fans. It will take one heck of a speech… but I am hopeful that our guys will drink the punch. And if they do, imagine a game very similar to our Texas game at AFH because in that mindset, it really doesn’t matter who we play; that opponent is going down for a hard landing! There isn’t anyone in this country that can stop Joel. There isn’t anyone in this country that can stop Andrew. And when our opponents are getting smacked with those two heavy punches we round it out with a flurry by Wayne… by Perry… by Naadir… by Jamari… and finally… by “Black Death!”

    I’m holding on to that dream… if I don’t I can’t sleep at night.

    I fear the nightmare. I fear Self not standing on his troops throats with a cup of punch. I fear this team treating someone like the Shockers as just an over-hyped mid-major. We’ve certainly taken that approach before… twice from the Mo Valley under Bill Self. This Shocker team is anything but normal. They come at you and they redefine the word “relentless.” I’ve watched a big chunk of their games this year, including one of their wins where their opponent was shooting something like 80% from the field in the first half. The Shockers kept fighting… kept scratching… and finally “relentless” worked. It’s tough to play 40 minutes of ass-kicking basketball! Texas gave up in AFH. Barnes is a nice guy, but he’s weak and it reflects under all that big boy flesh on his team. We will have to be truly prepared for this game. We will have to realize that a 10-pt run isn’t good enough. We will have to realize that if we don’t possess the momentum, they do. We will have to realize the value of every possession. We will have to realize what it truly takes to own the boards. And we have to do all of this realization for 40 continuous minutes!

    If the nightmare happened I won’t sleep for a year. Maybe longer.

    I like the Shockers… and I hope they beat everyone… except us!

    I am not prepared to see Bill Self go 0-3 against the Mo Valley in March! It would be a stat that would always challenge his 10 consecutive B12 championships… at least, in my head (and probably several of yours).

    Meanwhile… I’m in dream mode. And all I can see is our team that showed up against Texas at home!

    Rock Chalk!

  • Fear at the Microphone

    ESPN pairs Brent Mussberger with new color man Don Rickles for the National Championship game and Rickles does stale insults piped to the arena loudspeakers until fans experience a collective psychotic break and begin group self immolation.

  • Fear on the Half Shell

    Bill Self, fearing a midlife potency crisis, overdoses on Oysters Rockefeller the night before the national championship, only to discover researchers have correlated oysters with ED.

  • Fear of Tying

    I fear that the entire KU team will simultaneously manifest laceaphobia and be unable to put on their adidas for the national championship game.

  • Fear of Frequent Posting

    I fear that frequent posting will be soon classified as a syndrome predisposing one’s favorite team not to win the national championship.

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