SAILING UP THE SLOT WITH THE IRON MAN (for @lincase)



  • @lincase asked why Self played Devonte 40 when up 10?

    Self has no credible backup, so he has to help Devonte begin to believe playing 40 is how it’s always going to be; that he can actually do this.

    Self probably thinks Devonte is hitting a pain barrier like long distance runners do. He has to convince Devonte he can play 40 the rest of the back nine to get the 14th title and six straight games in March!!!

    He cannot do it if he does not believe he can do it. Experience builds confidence and belief in sport. Yes Devonte could burn as most horses do by the third leg of the triple crown. But there is no alternative: Devonte has to think he can go 40 every 2 in 3-4. There is no other path to greatness this year.

    Devonte must run the marathon across Thermopylae to save KU basketball. Self just made him understand this is how it must be done. HE must find ways to win when there is no more gas in his tank. HE must answer the call greatness. Few are ever called. All called are the best one has, but still ordinary men (and women).

    These are his gallant hours.

    No one can do what he must do but him.

    Self is asking more of him than any player in Self’s tenure.

    He is no longer being asked to lead.

    He is being asked to do what most think impossible.

    Probably what he might have been thinking was impossible.

    Self had him show him it was possible; that he could win when he had nothing left and Doke was out.

    But nothing is written.

    Frank Mason had a cake walk compared to this.

    This will be KU’s finest hour, if Graham can be the Iron Man!

    This will make him the greatest KU point guard that ever lived, if he can play 40 mpg the rest of the way,.

    This will make him the Lou Gehrig of KU basketball.

    This is the reason we keep track of history and play basketball!

    To see young men (and women) do things that were thought impossible.

    We are not waiting for reinforcements anymore.

    We are not holding on to what we have.

    We are not saving any more energy.

    We are attacking.

    And we are attacking with Devonte 40 minutes per and more if needed for overtime.

    Every player has a role now that fits them as well as it is going to fit them this season.

    Attack now! Attack later. Attack every minute of every game. Attack till we cannot attack and then attack some more. We are sailing up the slot headed for Bougainville and New Britain and New Guinea, with only the knowledge that winning back on THE CANAL means it can be done when we squeeze everything out of everything we have. These are islands full of head hunters, cannibals and swamps unmapped. What we are told in scouts we become less reliable not more. The conditions will become even more hostile than the Canal. We must attack again and again into the unforeseen. Attack till we are victorious owners of an NCAA record 14 straight conference titles.

    This is why Self is playing Devonte 40 mpg.

    This is a once in a history basketball opportunity.

    Self is trying to help Devonte and his team see that if Devonte can play 40, then they can play 37.

    He is trying make them see the incomparable opportunity for a place in basketball history.

    Look at Self’s face as he prowls the sidelines in contested moments. The old steely ferocity is back. He eased up after The Canal for last preparations for sailing up the Slot. Look at a globe. The history books don’t really tell the story of the hardships of Bougainville and New Britain and New Guinea that all had to be orchestrated boom, boom, boom with Rabaul just beyond them. Halsey got more force and supply, but time was of the essence and he had to spread it thin again at huge risk. The impossible was routine. The combined cost greater. Every landing could have spelled strategic disaster for the Solomons campaign because each was the flank of the other.

    My 24- year old lieutenant father, who thought he had come ashore on a cake walk, suddenly found he had no relief, no support, no one to turn to, when the Marines rifle companies ahead crossed an unmapped swamp and engaged an enemy that was not supposed to be that near, got in a fire fight and started running out ammunition and potable water in a stifling jungle that varied between suffocating humidity and torrential rains. monsoon. No mentor. Just an order. “Lieutenant get those goddamn trucks and dozers across that swamp, or two companies of Marines are going to be dead because of you!”

    “But how, sir?”

    “You are a US Marine, Lieutenant. Act like one. Marines do not ask how. They find a way. Now, you are it, son. No one is coming to save you from down the beach, or from those goddamn Navy ships you are looking at, Lieutenant. It’s on you. Get your warrant officer and get started!! Otherwise you and a lot of other Marines could die here very soon.”

    The weight of events falls unfairly.

    Someone other than Devonte should have had near the weight of this recruiting shortfall.

    But it has come down squarely on his shoulders.

    My Dad said it helped to focus on doing what had to be done moment to moment. Never think of the unfairness, or of the improbability of the job.

    JUST. FIND. A. WAY.

    🏀



  • I hope you are right–you usually are. Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I love Devonte, I love this team, but what if the unthinkable happens and Devonte gets hurt? No one else has meaningful experience at point guard in a game situation. I assume others take turns in practice, and someone might be able to step up if he had to (fingers crossed). I would argue that sitting him down with a comfortable lead would have two benefits: 1. It would give him a short breather. 2. It would give someone else some experience.



  • @lincase did you see what dg is wearing on his legs to help him recover? Believe it was the firefly?



  • @lincase

    U r right, Self is making a very tough decision.

    It could backfire.

    But Bill is betting all the marbles on DG.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 I did! Pretty cool.



  • We couldn’t afford to lose any of our players at this point, obviously DG, but any of our regulars would just about do us in. Sure, we’ll still dance, but not much after that.



  • @wissox

    Agreed.

    This is why I chose the Solomons Campaign as a metaphor for this season.

    There is no margin for error.

    And many risky operations to get to 14, and then the Carney.


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