Another Hypothesis: why Self is playing Graham 40 mpg the last few games

  • Why is Self not resting D Graham, when he could?

    And why all the 40 minute man stuff lately?

    Hypothesis: Devonte went operable 3-4 games ago and won’t heal the rest of the way. His scoring efficiency won’t return. The idea is to play Devonte 40 mpg to give other perimeter players a little rest, instead of having to back up Devonte.

  • @jaybate-1.0 He has some type of electronic apparatus on his calf muscles and I also noticed something on his left shoulder The other day during post game. For a guy who was regularly coming out last year for cramping, he has sure manned up this year. Or his diet and exercise has improved greatly. Or both. I feel confident in Vick and Newman bringing the ball up, they just don’t distribute enough to keep the offense flowing. If Svi and Newman stay aggressive with their downhill play, let’s hope Graham can get what he needs from the line and dish 10 dimes a game and the dropping fg% won’t be such a big deal.

  • Self is the anti gipetto. He wants to make Devonte wooden.

  • Or maybe Devonte is just fine physically but going through a shooting slump? Just imagine if he could finish at the rim…he’d easily be a first rounder.

  • Devonte makes the first three he shoots most games. He just gets worn down quickly.

  • I think if Devonte were injured, he wouldn’t be playing 40. I think he’s playing 40 because Self is Self (and much like most other coaches). He thinks winning equates to playing your best players. Seems simple. I do think that many coaches, in the heat of competition, can miss the important point of “peak efficiency.” I had posted a stat that DG’s shooting percentage in the last 5 games he’s played 40 minutes, his shooting percentage is 28.8%.

    What I don’t know is if his shooting percentage is decreasing in the second half.

    I am hoping that that coach Self has analyzed this and feels that the team is better with DG playing 40 with his peak efficiency compromised, vs. playing 34 minutes per game at perhaps a higher efficiency. And that is the reason. I speculate that another reason for 40 minutes might be that when he gets in a game situation, he just can’t stomach having him out of the game. Something that simple. It sickens him to have DG on the bench.

    My personal opinion is that 40 minutes per game is compromising his peak efficiency. I’d try to give him one good blow each half, perhaps two minutes or more before each TV timeout.

    We all know legs are important in shooting. This might help recharge the batteries.

  • If only we could step on some of these teams’ throats and be up by 25 midway through the 2nd half so Self could rest him. I think the Texas A&M game for instance.

    I guess it’s the chicken or the egg argument.

  • @HighEliteMajor Exactamundo. There should be no reason why we could not give DG a 2-3 minute blow between the 8 and 12 minute mark each half. He would then be much more help when it came to crunch time. Garrett and Sam need to be given the confidence to give Malik and Vick some rest and Mitch could help give Svi a breather for a few possessions. Doke, Mitch, and SDS, should be able to handle the 5 between them. I am sure Coach can split the time up so that no one needs to play more than 33-34 minutes per game without hurting our chances to win. It would sure pay off in March.

  • Last 2 games Devonte is 1-12 in the 2nd half. Interesting that 9 of those misses have been layups or jumpers. In the first half he’s 4-7 with all the made baskets being 3’s.

    The OU game certainly looked as if he was trying too hard to match Young and took 9 shots without making a single pass which contributed to his 4-19 line that game.

  • The only problem is that past experience has shown us that the lead shrinks every time DG goes to the bench. EVERY time. So a 12-16 point lead goes to nothing real fast and all the sudden the intensity of the game goes up as well as the likelihood of a loss. I’d rather DG play 40 with a double digit lead than 38 in a 1 possession game that’g going back and forth. He’s on the floor resting for some of those 40. Malik has been bringing the ball up, SVI has been driving it out of the weave, Vick has been trying to shoot more, and DG just has to be everyone’s security blanket. Unfortunately the entire team plays more confidently when he’s on the floor so those few minutes of rest actually hurt the production of the rest of the guys. I do think we will get to the point where DG can rest a bit. Malik has been coming on strong and if he can turn into the second guard (DG last year), DG might get a breather without too many adverse effects. Maybe then his production will go back up as well.

  • approxinfinity said:

    Self is the anti gipetto. He wants to make Devonte wooden.


  • @Blown

    Great reporting. Thanks! Keep it coming!!!

  • @BeddieKU23

    Great stat check. Thx for bringing it.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    My assumption too, till I recalled the big minutes he played Tyrel Reed, when Tyrel went operable.

  • @benshawks08

    Lead shrinkage is interesting, but does not explain resting him a few minutes with a lead.

    Self is famous for building leads and spending them.

    No reason not to spend some resting Devonte.

  • Just a month ago I challenged DG’s ability to lead this team.

    I don’t do that any longer because DG has stepped up big to lead this team. Watch him on the court. Notice how often he talks to his players… claps at his guys (encouragement), and points to positions where he wants his guys. He has definitely stepped up his game as a floor general.

    As others have said, DG is wearing down. A big part of that is he is nicked up. There is a lot revealed when DG drives the ball to the rim and attempts to finish. Most of the time now, he isn’t making the basket. He used to be really good at making the basket, even when getting fouled. What is really telling is some of his shots seem quite wild and their only purpose is to prove he is shooting so he can get two automatic FTs if the whistle blows.

    I think the reason why he is reacting this way could be a couple of things. First… his stamina may be fading and he has already spent most of his fuel on his drive, leaving him short on fuel to cross the “finish line” at the rim. Second… he is attempting to guard his body from additional risky contact. He is banged up and his thoughts are on preventing more damage versus going full-focus on scoring 2 points. I tend to think the latter is more likely, but I think both are playing a part in this.

    Devonte may need to look at some game tape. Look at ways to save some energy without costing us. Watch game footage and compare Devonte and Svi’s movements. Granted… Devonte is constantly under attack facing high ball screens. But even without that… Devonte tends to move more quickly, attempting to put more pressure on the ball. I do think most of it is vital for us turning up our defense. We need to disrupt other teams’ flows. Nothing can help more than attack their PGs. Devonte accomplishes disruption often by his aggression. That means our opponents’ PG might have to start their moves from a place on the floor they would rather not start. That means high ball screens can even help us by creating more disruption when Devonte fights through them. Devonte’s defensive pressure is as responsible for us showing a high plus on points when Devonte is on the floor than what Devonte does for our offense, by leading and posing a huge threat to drive or bomb the trey. Offensive action is usually more obvious to fans, but Devonte’s defense has been a HUGE FACTOR in Kansas leading the Big 12 conference race!

    I’ve been on Devonte’s case for his entire play while at Kansas. I am, by far, most satisfied with his level of play now than at anything before! He’s playing a bit hurt and he’s tired, and he’s busting out 40 minutes every game while leading us to what we all hope for, another Big 12 conference title and then a respectable run in March!

    My recent grade on Devonte’s play: A+

    If he stays away from a serious injury, I expect him to find a bit of rest between conference play and March… helping us immensely in March!

  • @jaybate-1-0 What about Self showcasing DG by giving him 40 a night? It’s clear there’s no way anyone is going to steal any bit of shine from T. Young by scoring and dishing so all Self can do to spotlight his senior guard (who many hoped would let Kansas have repeat POY) is let him go Iron Man and get press that way. Sure it does hurt DG’s efficiency but it doesn’t seem to have too big of impact on the teams efficiency. Probably too big of a risk to for a few seconds of spotlights a night but surely Self and co are as tired of all the Young coverage as we are. Without Billy we have no sexy one and done, Doke needs a few more games removed from the OU debacle before they put the brights back on him.

    Could also just be about defense (as it usually is with Self). DG seems to be the guy who knows the scouting report best every week. He’s the guy most likely to “cut the head off the snake” as Self used to say. He directs traffic on the defensive end not just among the guards but the bigs too. This team simply doesn’t have another leader. Self will not sit back and watch easy buckets get scored on his team. He’ll stomach some turnovers, the occasional bad shot, but never a defensive breakdown. It’s why he just can’t keep DeSousa out there even though he has said in pressers that he wants and needs to.

  • Actually, just skip what I posted and read @drgnslayr again. Didn’t see it before I hit reply!

  • My non-expert opinion is that anytime DG is in the game, no matter how gassed, he poses a threat to drive, dish, score … whatever. Even if he doesn’t always finish at the rim, sometimes just the threat of his doing something is all that’s needed to keep defenses honest.

    As the proverbial head of the snake and the facilitator on offense he attracts undue attention for his triple-threat potential every time he touches the ball. Even when tired, his mere presence is enough of a concern that blowing an assignment on one of our other players becomes a real possibility every time down the floor.

    I’m sure it’s also demoralizing for opposing teams to need a blow, watching DG still in the game, still engaged and still grinding. Knowing he’s not coming out while the opposition battles accordion legs has to have some psychological ramifications.

  • @tis4tim

    This is the argument for doing what Self is doing.

    It is sound strategy. I would do it, too.

    And like all sound strategies triggered by short-handedness, it has serious risks.

    No matter what Self tries to do, no matter what approach he takes, it will be extremely high risk, BECAUSE HE LACKS MANPOWER THIS SEASON.

    This is what Self told every one recently. Fans have to understand that we don’t have the strength of roster we used to have, where we can pull away from teams. My words, not Self’s.

    Self is playing for a 14th straight conference title and letting the March Madness take care of itself for now.

    NOTHING is being saved, except AMPs.

    AMPs are being distributed as usual. AMPs are being used to guaranty tough home wins and on the road only when there is no option. Note: no amp in Norman, because we were already in the lead and a loss would leave us there. AMPs only for MUST wins. Same old same old that delivered us the previous 13 consecutive conference titles. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    But the team is sailing up the slot of a Solomons Campaign against arguably deeper teams and its only chance is to leverage its superior starting five (its air superiority) to the MAXIMUM.

    Any starter (and effective 40% trey shooter) that can walk and carry a rifle starts and plays as close to 40 as fouling and matchups permits NOW, not in March.

    The starters are his best shooters, best ball handlers, his best rebounders and best defenders.

    Self is betting everything on his starters NOW.

    And Self is betting that among his starters, Devonte, because of they recent cybernetics @Blown already outlined above) is the least likely to benefit significantly from rest.

    Devonte probably couldn’t carry the team for two halves now with less than a month of rest. At least that’s what Self wants the opponents to think. Maybe Devonte has one 40 minute effort left in him. Who knows. But its pretty clear that the man who is betting it all on 14 every spin of the wheel (i.e. ever game) thinks he cannot ride Devonte the way he did early in the season. The rest of the perimeter has to step into breech and be rammed into the chamber and fire, and fire for effect starting NOW.

    Devonte Graham is now a Cyberballer. He is a dehydration prone injury-augmented by E-Stim wire and bailing wire point guard that takes some shots early before the meds and hydro therapies wear off; then works at driving into bodies Ibad ball 2.0) and hoping to get FTs from the standing position with no concern for low FG percentage plummets. His teammates are supposed to carry the second halves.

    By playing Devonte 40 minutes, he buys each of the other 4 starters maybe a 2-3 minute breather by Marcus Garrett on the front ends of 2 in 3 sets. On the back ends of 2 in 3 sets? They get no rest at all, if they can possibly get by without it .

    Self is NOT worrying about Trae and PR.

    Self is worrying about squeezing every last ounce of juice out of his starters to try to win the 14th consecutive title.

    14 Consecutive titles are all that matter now.

    Those that doubt this are living in a iDream world created by the Deep State and 7 high tech nerds.

    Self grew up analog.

    Titles are real things to him.

    14 would put him at the top the heap in this category in the history of the greatest analog game ever invented.

    The recruiting Deep State made sure he would NEVER challenge Wooden’s string of National Championships.

    Not. Going. To. Happen.

    Wooden’s only real successor was marginalized, so the phony in Durham could go out XTREME cheap-shotting in style.

    Anyone one with a thimble of sense and honesty knows this after watching what Self has done with the table scraps left by the posers at Duke, UNC, UK and which ever other pretender school has been temporarily fed players Self should have gotten at the 1 and 5.

    Self is playing for the only record that was available for him too play for.

    And even this consecutive conference title thing has been put in great jeopardy by the recruiting Deep State.

    But that’s how life is sometimes.

    TCPTB (the corrupted powers that be) rarely play fair.

    Read the flipping memo.

    And Go, Bill, go!!!

  • @jaybate-1-0 Think about if you were a coach and you had the chance to do something JOHN WOODEN!!! never did. The Wizard of Westwood, the guy who won the most NCs. If you had the chance to win 14 in a row, would you not be just the least bit tempted to go all in so you could break his record? If he can seal up the 14th in a row, then maybe late Feb, early March he takes the foot of the DG gas pedal a bit to rest him up for the March Madness.

    I certainly would not play him 40 in the B12 tournament. But I certainly want my best guy out there the most minutes to give me the chance to win the conference and make history of a level which puts self into the highest echelon of coaches, and he was already way up there. 14 in a row? Get outta here. It is just ridiculous…we all have egos and if he can wear the label of “1 Better than Coach Wooden” you can bet your sweet bippy that he will ride the D-Train 40 min per game.

  • In todays basketball world, 10 points is not a safe lead. 25 is. It’s been a long time since the preseason games where that has happened.

  • @Fightsongwriter Coach Wooden did not win 13 conference titles in a row. He won something like 9 in a row, then his successors continued the streak.

  • @ParisHawk

    The UCLA streak was under 3 coaches, Wooden, Bartow and Cunningham and 2 conferences, PAC 8 and PAC 10. The closer number is MarK Few and Gonzaga with 11 in a row albeit in the much weaker West Coast Conference with only Saint Mary’s as a half way decent rival.

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