Tharpe's Performance Inexplicable

  • A number of weeks ago, I posted some thoughts on wanting more from Naadir Tharpe. Against Oklahoma St., in what may unfortunately be a preview of our NCAA tournament exit, Naadir Tharpe played a horrific game. Inexplicable, really. I’m not really left wanting more. What I am wanting is some intestinal fortitude.

    Much worse than Tharpe’s actual performance vs. OSU was his whipped puppy demeanor. Definitively for me, this game proved that Naadir Tharpe is no leader. I have never seen a true leader act the part of the victim. I have never seen a true leader present such defeated body language. I have never seen a true leader bring his team down to this degree. And I’ve never seen a true leader appear so utterly unprepared for such a big stage.

    Tharpe, the team’s stated leader, drops in on Gallagher-Iba with seven well-earned turnovers. Don’t believe the boxscore. It wasn’t six – it was seven. Tharpe also caused at least one other turnover as he wasn’t paying attention when Selden threw the ball cross after a press break (a particular situation when Tharpe needs to be looking). Tharpe got lucky when we escaped a turnover after Embiid bounced one off his head; again, Tharpe wasn’t paying attention in a situation where he had to be attentive. Inexplicable.

    I’m now beginning to understand the pursuit of Jaquan Lyle. And I’m beginning to wonder if we should have all chipped in for more tutoring for Anrio Adams.

    This all is on top of the fact that Tharpe compromises our defense night in, and night out, with shoddy angles, low intensity, and a genetic predisposition to getting “beasted.” I have described Ellis and Tharpe as Mr. and Mrs. Finesse … I now have no doubt who the Mrs. is. And for those somewhat offended by gender references, that means that Tharpe played like a woman. Which is not like a man.

    Tharpe was plainly not ready to play tonight. On a huge stage, ESPN game day, against a team that was a preseason favorite to make a run at our crown, with a #1 seed hanging in the balance, Tharpe slinks on and off the court as if he was waiting for a whippin’ from his mommy.

    Self stuck him on the bench in favor of Mason and Frankamp late in the first half. That’s our junior leader? That’s the guy that’s going to lead us to the promised land? Benched for Frankamp at OSU on March 1? Unbelievable.

    Earlier in the season, Tharpe is reported to have questioned whether Self “liked him.” He pouted. He was replaced by Mason as a starter. I kept my thoughts on that to myself as I did not want to jump to a conclusion. But as the season has played out, the picture is becoming clearer. Tharpe is a wimp. He’s not a guy that you would hitch your wagon to. He won’t be there through thick and thin. When the going gets tough, Tharpe might get going. Maybe. If he’s not too intimidated by it.

    I was a big Tharpe proponent heading into the season, but the guy has lost me. His shooting has been a God-send. No doubt the best shooter in the rotation. But can we survive his obvious passivity and lack of intensity?

    Until tonight, I have felt that we can survive our claimed point guard deficiencies. Right now, I don’t think so. This non-performance by Tharpe vs. OSU was like a life changing event – it’s hard to put that toothpaste back in the tube. Despite Tharpe’s lack of leadership and production, we still should have won the game. Our season may come down to whether we can survive a Tharpe no-show or two in the tournament. Count me a skeptic. It’s not where I want to be in early March.

  • @HighEliteMajor Tharpe was bad, but so were a few others. Can’t put it all on him. He was bad, but Self must see more than we do. Ugly game!

  • @HighEliteMajor thank you!

    I now feel justified in voicing my displeasure. Remember the last two years when Tharpe would get jerked out of the game after one mistake? Well, now he’s staying in the game way too long ala EJ last year.

    We need our PG to “manage” the game. Don’t turn it over and get the ball to the scorers. That’s it. Just don’t screw it up.

    I assume it’s too late to change course now. But I still feel CF could do the job. Tonite he snapped the ball around the perimeter and got it to the right people all without launching one shot. If he played 30 minutes we would have won. IMHO.

  • @HighEliteMajor Eeesh!! Scathing! Can’t say it was unwarranted though. What will coach do now? That’s the big question here, not which round will we get bounced in. Coach has to make a decision. Since the start of the conference, I always felt we would lose this game anyways. It is a tough place to win at, especially for KU.

    • list item Okie state was foaming at the mouth for this game, their season was riding on it, ours wasn’t.

    Seeding may or may not be affected by this loss but the team’s spirit sure could be. Coach has to decide if Naa can pull it together, think next game and move on, Or if he should be playing Mason to start with next up off the bench as needed. Coach has to decide if it is too late in the season to pull a major rotation change, not us. I just watched Money Ball for the first time, so I am feeling a bit optimistic here after KU’s loss. I’m betting Coach will do exactly what is necessary and not one bit more. Lyle wont help us right now, they have to win with what they have right now.

  • @HighEliteMajor I have been a skeptic of Tharpe’s for some time as well. I have been a fan too, thinking his shooting and driving abilities both above average, but there’s always been that doubt in my mind as to whether he was capable of being the starting PG at Kansas. I brought it up over a month ago, as I dare say Anrio Adams named hadn’t been mentioned on these boards prior to me bringing him up, but I recalled how I lamented him losing the battle last year for the back-up PG duties. I just had a hard time seeing Tharpe as our starting PG for the following 2 seasons. But even that was based more (at the time) on Adams’ physical advantages. And while his well-documented defensive deficiencies are still a huge drawback, his mental lapses, errors in judgment, & overall lack of leadership is the biggest hurdle for this team.

    Options? Short-term it’s Mason & Frankamp. Neither impressed at OSU, but neither were as big net-negative as Tharpe either. Lyle next year? I still see that as a stretch. As has been pointed out, it’s not like this guy is a top 10, can’t miss recruit. He’s right in the neighborhood of most guys who take at least a year to flourish in Self’s system.

    To your point, yes we still should have won the game. Consider everything else that didn’t go well - as stated, Mason had a pretty poor game as well, Wiggins shot wasn’t falling, & Joel re-injured his back. I think we can survive against a team the quality of OSU in the tournament with a Tharpe “no-show” (meltdown might be more accurate) if we don’t have a list of other things go wrong. However, against a team better than OSU…don’t bet on it. So frustrating.

  • I don’t think you pull Tharpe now. You go with who got you here…even though he has been inconsistent during the process of getting us here. We just have to hope that Tharpe bounces back. I don’t think he will be as bad as last night. It seemed like we had a lack of focus across the board. Wiggins with 6 TO’s. Selden and Tharpe missing connections on the one pass at mid court. This does remind me of the up / down year of EJ last year. I don’t think you CAN switch gears now…it’s too late in the season. But HEM is right…a bad game from him in the tournament and we are done.

  • Self can switch gears anytime he has someone better.

    He doesn’t have someone better. Mason is faster, but that’s all.

    Self’s anger flared, perhaps because he knows he is cornered.

    Great talent he might never have again and he just lost Embiid, the only guy that can make it win.

    He is looking at probably 8-9 losses now even with the title, if Joel has to rest till tourney time, and ten without. Ten losses puts a damper on his W&L statement.

    With him uninjured probably 1 or no losses.

    Let’s hope the treatments can work miracles again.

  • more concerned about Embiid’s health than Tharpe’s lack of leadership and inability to focus from play to play. without a “tweaked” back, KU celebrates its 10th in Gallagher-Iba. with a “tweaked” back, KU struggles to get to the Sixteen.

  • @icthawkfan316 It is his inconsistency that is frustrating, not that he is not good enough. He knows how to handle a trap better than what he did last night. However, dont act like Tharpe single handedly cost them the game. 22 turnovers cost them the game, and almost everyone contributed to that. They had a chance to close out the game when they were up 10, but they had too many stupid turnovers and bad shots and therefore squandered the lead.

  • @HighEliteMajor-A few observations from my chair.

    1. This is not Tharpe’s first inexplicable game to me. His lackadaisical performance immediately in the first half brought to mind the Florida game & snowballed continually into an even greater debacle since this is March & flippin’ crunch time for the committee. About the only thing Bilas said all night that I agreed with was that the Jayhawks were shooting off their feet.

    2. I also concur that Wigs gave it away far too many times. While our optimism will undoubtedly increase with another W or two, this one will be awfully hard to forget at this point in time. Other than his TO’s, which are undeniable huge, he was probably our best all around player for the entire game, particularly after Joel hurt his back. That, is a whole other can of worms in itself. When JE’s at 60-70% we are virtually screwed. I also thought Wayne played well for the most part too, at least not repeatedly throwing the damn thing away time after time.

    3. One other item I’d like to convey is that Perry just plays as tentative as ever, & acts like he’s never seen a double at times, making such poor decisions on when to put it on the floor. That’s about as nice as I can state it at this point so will not hammer the H out of him. As far as all the speculations about him at the 3, fuggedaboutit. Way too slow with the first step. He’s almost as big a disappointment to me as Tharpe. Nadir just has more experience.

    4. IMO all 3 other Freshman starters are playing above the levels of Perry & Tharpe most all of the while. At least they are more consistent. It may very well be too late for Frank or CF to get much more PT, unless Tharpe has an injury, but more Black & Traylor should be definitely be on Bill’s platter PDQ. You have 10 fouls between them & I say use em if ya have to. Maybe next time we’ll hit a few of our own damn FT’s& pull out a road win. JMO.

  • HEM To me, it seems as though one minute he plays great and the other he doesnt. A lot of what we do here is speculation. For example, we dont know how far the team will go in the tournament, if they will get hot and peak in late March, if they will bring their full intensity to the games, or whether or not Tharpe will not turn the ball over. We dont know any of those things.

    Sometimes I wonder what Self tells his players when they are turning the ball over repeatedly like last night. I wonder what he tells Tharpe when he jacks up a three point shot early in the shot clock.

    All of Tharpes mistakes(yes all of them) are very basic and correctable. For example, when he passed the ball to the other side of the court to Selden who then threw it back to him when he wasnt looking. To me, that says that he didnt have his head in the game.

    To me, Tharpe having his head in the game and really focusing will determine how far we go. And dont get me started on this Jaquin Lyle stuff. We have the tools NOW to at least get to the Final Four, which I would be elated if they just did that. My point is that people are always so unhappy with what we have and want something else and they dont realize that what they have is in fact good enough. We know that every single one of KUs turnovers last night were unforced and the result of carelessness. OSU did not force a single KU turnover. If the team isnt carless with the ball the whole game, they win.

    To me, we need COACH SELF to be the leader of the team. Yes, Tharpe should set the tone and be the floor general. I get that. But Self is the coach, not Tharpe, and has to help the team when they are struggling to not turn it over. That is all Self’s responsibility.

    It is possible for this team to make it to the Final Four, which considering how young this team is would be an incredible accomplishment. Its possible that this loss will help them be smarter with the ball and help motivate them to play better. Remember, the 08 team’s three conference losses were the same as this year: at Texas, at Kansas State, and at Oklahoma State.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    You have excellent vision about the game of basketball. And what I like even more is your guts for being able to call it like you see it. I wanted to come on here and do another thread on Tharpe… but I needed to be pushed because that game really soured my soul. I’m glad you took the lead on this one, and saved many of us from writing all the tough language that really does need to be said.

    Months ago I posted my own ranking system for this team to describe my terms and hopeful projection for this team. My ranks goes as follow: COLD COLD COLD, WARM WARM WARM, WARMER WARMER WARMER, and HOT HOT HOT! This team has been stuck on WARM WARM WARM for a couple of months now. As I indicated, it is a level of play capable of winning a lot of games, but not a level of play capable of winning a NC. With just a few games left, there is no way for us to show consistency enough to jump to a higher rank (in my books). This is all my own system.

    As of now, I have two teams that are HOT HOT HOT. I would rate these two teams as my favorites in bracketology. Florida and Wichita State. As we all know, WSU does not have the talent level near Florida or anyone else in the top spots. But WSU has the characteristics of a winning team (regardless of who they are playing). The #1 characteristic is they come ready to play every single game. Shooting streaks come and go, but that team comes ready to fight. Same with Florida. Teams in my WARMER WARMER WARMER bracket include Virginia, St. Louis, SDSU, Arizona (close to being HOT HOT HOT).

    I rank the level of play ahead of talent on a team. Us and Kentucky are the two most-talented teams. Neither of us are ready for March, or even close. The issue is consistency. And with us, the biggest factor weighing in on our consistency problem is Tharpe… followed by Ellis.

    Last night we should have blown out the Cowboys. Wiggins, Embiid and Selden were prepared to give them a beat down. Ellis wasn’t too far off of these 3. Really… our entire team was ready to put a smash on the Cowboys… everyone except Tharpe.

    I know we can look at the stat line and start sharing blame. It shows Wiggins as matching Tharpe’s TOs with 6. Those numbers aren’t right. First… I counted Tharpe’s mistakes and in the least he was at 8 TOs. At least two of his mistakes were given to others… like where he moved off his position and the pass came back to him and an empty spot.

    Tharpe’s poor play was like having a dragster at the track, with all aspects of the motor, transmission, suspension, everything right… except 1 piston blown out. That’s all it takes for a dragster to lose big. Tharpe was our blown out piston. His TOs, lack of leadership, lack of control on pace, poor defense, misguided play… it all took our team that was ready to kill and made them a horrible mess.

    There is no sharing of loss on this one. This is Tharpe’s loss.

    In Tharpe’s defense… he wasn’t a top guard coming out of HS. And he wasn’t even a PG. He came to Kansas with the understanding he would be a backup player. So he has had a great year. But he may be in over his head.

    @HighEliteMajor … now you understand the need for Lyle next year. He may or may not be ready to lead this team, but we have to have plenty of solid options at point because otherwise, we will be in this same situation again. We can all hope and dream that Tharpe will mature into being solid… but it isn’t something we can count on.

    Plenty of blame needs to go to the top… on CS. For whatever reason he has never seemed to be able to snag the best PG for what we need. We have always been like some of the best Chiefs teams of the past couple of decades… best running backs, best pass rushers… best best best… but finishing out of the money because we didn’t have a 5-star quarterback. The PG is the quarterback of the team. And we can go ahead and get the best 2, 3, 4 and 5 players in the country and we still won’t win without the right PG. I’d rather have what WSU has… and have a kick ass PG with a team full of just decent players, then the other way around.

    I’m very frustrated with CS. I totally respect his coaching ability and him as a person. He has been perhaps the best coach in the history of Kansas! But he is missing knowledge on certain aspects of the game that is preventing him from winning even at a higher rate! Imagine if he was able to land a talented PG who was coached into being the best! Imagine if he was able to always bring his team ready to play!

    Out of all the complications involved in basketball, those are the only two areas were CS needs help. That is amazing… but it is also very frustrating. Because we are a dragster with a monster 7000 hp engine that is missing on one cylinder. And sometimes we lose to a 1972 Pinto with a 1.6L, 54 hp motor!

    It is so frustrating to know there isn’t a team in college basketball out there that on our best day we wouldn’t pound into submission. No one! But we can all clearly see how consistency is going to prevent us from winning 6 games in a row in the tourney. And so the inevitable will occur… we’ll go down to someone we should beat… again!

    Bill Self should call Gregg Marshall and ask for help. How can Self develop the team psyche of putting a chip on these guys’ shoulders? Marshall has done it with a team that overachieved and made it to the FF last year. Those guys should have been fat and sassy this year, and back playing in the NIT. And here we are… having lost another heartache game to Michigan in the tourney last year, and we are fat and sassy.

  • We need our PG to “manage” the game. Don’t turn it over and get the ball to the scorers. That’s it. Just don’t screw it up.

    I assume it’s too late to change course now. But I still feel CF could do the job. Tonite he snapped the ball around the perimeter and got it to the right people all without launching one shot. If he played 30 minutes we would have won. IMHO.

    @VailHawk Well said!

    I think we’ve put too much expectation out of 90+ ranked Tharpe or 70+ ranked Mason. Mason showed more athletic abilities than Tharpe, but so far Mason is just a bull dog who showed more of his driving capabilities. If he has as high a ceiling of Tyshawn, he might become another Tyshawn when he is a senior. Somehow I don’t see it. I’d like to see Frankamp develop more speed and I like the fact that he already demonstrated glimpse of smarts playing the point.

  • @drgnslayr You win as a team, and you lose as a team. Losses are NEVER on one person. Everyone contributed. That includes Bill Self and the coaching staff.

    As I said earlier, you do with what you have, and having Tharpe with his head in the game and bringing good intensity and focus is good enough to get us to the Final Four, which would be a better result than in years past with very good teams.

    Remember, there is a reason that people talk about getting hot in the tournament after having some struggles.

    I want people on here to think things for the right reasons and see things for how they really are. For example, could we have a better point guard? Yes. However, we must further analyze Tharpes weaknesses to see what might cost us getting to Dallas. To me, his biggest weakness is being careless and not focusing. When Tharpe has focused and has not turned the ball over, isnt that good enough to at least get us to the Final Four? Of course it is!

    It is not too much to expect your point guard to not be careless and not turn the ball over. If all Tharpe did was play good defense, move the ball well, set the pace, and not turn it over, it would be a good game.

    Drgnslary you bring up a good point about this team not having a chip on its shoulder. However, the only teams we have had in the Bill Self era that have had a chip on their shoulder are the 12 and 08 teams.

    You also make a point about how much better they would be if they had a better point guard. In my opinion, we do not need a different point guard. What we NEED is for coach Self to get Tharpe playing at the right level, which means not turning it over like last night. That is the job of the coach.

    Also, I am not hoping and dreaming for Tharpe to mature or whatever else before the tournament. What I am hoping for is that he FOCUSES on fundamental and basic aspects of being the point guard, which is not turning the ball over, making shots when the team needs points, getting out and running(which I have seen him do numerous times despite what others say), and finding open teammates.

    If they dont make it to the Final Four, it will be because Tharpe doesnt play SMART, not because he is incapable as some make him out to be. He is inconsistent, not incapable. What I hope for is Self taking charge of the team and getting the team and Tharpe ready to make a run in March.

  • @drgnslayr I’ll tell you, after I posted this last night I kind of wondered if I should have taken a deep breath and waited until morning. I literally wrote that in 10 minutes. Very frustrated, but it wasn’t a momentary frustration. When I did the post on wanting more from Tharpe, it had been building a bit. A questioning of where his level of play could take us.

    The only thing I would change in the post is when I referred to Tharpe as a “wimp.” I about edited it this morning. I think I’d rather say that he “projects himself as a soft and disinclined player, and plays many times without any apparent grit.” I think we’re all saying the same thing.

    I think what I am having more appreciation for each day is the mental and physical toughness that coach Self tries to teach these guys, and how much that impacts every facet of the game.

    @globaljaybird said above that when Embiid is “60-70% we are virtually screwed.” And he’s right. If Embiid is down, all of this discussion is immaterial. He truly is the key to our assent as we pretty much all agreed early on.

    But Tharpe is the key to our possible descent – to our unthinkable plunge into the abyss. Assuming we’re healthy, he really is the one guy that can drag us down. But there is not much choice now. He’s the card that Self has put on the table – it’s just a matter of whether we match that 8 of clubs with a face card, or 7. Right now, it seems a bit like luck of the draw.

  • @DinarHawk Good points. We don’t need Tharpe to win games for us. We just need him to not lose games for us. I think he is capable of doing that. I still hold out hope that Self and the staff can help him do that. If so, it is then a matter of the youngsters continuing to get better…which we have seen, to have a shot at a final four. Admittedly, after last night that is hard to envision. Usually, teams that make runs have started to gel by now. Let’s see how it plays out.

  • @DinarHawk

    “You win as a team, and you lose as a team.”

    I typically support that statement. That is my statement from last year when people were pointing at EJ.

    But this game I can’t see past Tharpe. He only had to play marginal for us to win. This is his team. He is the floor general. And he is the player that is responsible for this outcome.

    It is rare when I go against your statement. This is one of those rare moments. We had 3 freshmen who are kids who have never been in this position. None of those kids have ever been to Stillwater. And they brought good game. Their games soured because of the clunky team play… which then points to our floor general. There was no way for those guys to take over and displace the hole Tharpe put us in.

    I also blame CS for areas where I’ve ranted for years now… pretty much every time we go into the tourney and lose to teams we should beat.

    I’m not blaming Tharpe as a person. He has overachieved at KU. I’m blaming his performance, because his performance level isn’t consistent enough to win out in March. It is hard to say if he can reach his potential to be the consistent player we need him to be. I’m not counting on that and I’m not got to slam Tharpe (the person). We are asking him to be one of the top PGs in the country and he wasn’t near that coming out of HS. And I have my doubts that our coaching knows how to coach PGs to their maximum potential.

  • @drgnslayr you knew this was coming from me. Self needs to call Marshall for help? Really? When he wins 10 back to back championships, maybe! And throw that in w/a top conference! WSU is a great team. No question there. Seriously, this makes me puke! Would you rather have him?

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    It makes me puke, too.

    Why does Marshall’s guys always show up pumped to play? Why don’t our guys do that?

    Why doesn’t Marshall’s guys TO the ball 22 times in a game?

    How does he get walk-ons to a mid-major taking a team to 31-0, ranked 2, and those players in the hat for some of the personal awards our star players are in?

    Why does WSU have a chip on their shoulders this year? They had the best year in their history last year. That wasn’t enough?

    I’m still pissed off for last year. Why didn’t we have a chip for finishing runner-up to UK the year before? We never have a chip! It is the main reason we don’t win more NCs!

    You know what really makes me want to puke? I see WSU once again trumping our NCAA performance. Tell me it won’t happen! And I hope your optimism is right!

    I hope this is our last dud performance this year. But, to be honest… my gut tells me it’s not!

    Why does my gut tell me we will be exiting early again?

    I’ll answer that… because I don’t feel comfortable with our PG play. I know the value of PG play. PG = Quarterback

    Sorry… I could probably use another example besides Marshall… but I can’t find another example that better illustrates areas where we need help!

    BTW: I’m never going to trade Self for Marshall… or probably anyone else! But there are aspects of his coaching that I feel need help. He could go from being one of the best coaches of our day to becoming perhaps the best coach of all times! (anywhere!)

    If Self resolves these issues he will win like Wooden. We’ll be stacking up NC trophies in AFH!

  • @drgnslayr You know that’s an ignorant post, right? I mean, I enjoy your opinion, but you have to know that’s flat out ignorance.

    Why doesn’t Marshall’s guys TO the ball 22 times in a game? Why do Marshall’s guys always show up pumped to play?

    Well, besides the fact that a I think a lineup of Niko, Self, Manning, Wesley, and Christian Garret could probably give Missouri St. a run for their money, it seems kind of obvious. I don’t want to bash WSU because right now, they’re in fabulous position. But come on.

    I saw a stat yesterday that was mind-boggling. If WSU gets a one-seed, which we all think they will, their first game against a 16 seed would be the toughest opponent they’ve faced outside of SLU! That’s incredible.

    I agree with everything you said outside of the WSU nonsense. Tharpe is a liability. He’s a below average defender and has several games where it almost seems like he’s point shaving when it comes to dumb turnovers. If he has a single game like this in the tourney, we’re done. Either that or Self will have to sit him for a loooong stretch just to keep him from giving away possessions.

  • @drgnslayr That goes back to my first question of what Self is telling his players. I always worry about an early exit and am very worried that it could happen this year. I think that we have to look at yesterday’s game with a grain of salt. I am with others in regards to the opinion that Self does not give his best effort against his alma mater. It is certainly a possibility.

    You are right about Tharpe. He just needs to be solid and not make the mistakes he made last night. If he just does his job and doesnt try to be the hero, then we’ll be in good shape to get to Dallas.

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    WSU’s woeful SOS is even more of a testament to their ability to rise for a game. It’s tougher to rise to play another dud team.

    My statements weren’t about talent level. They were about coming pumped ready to play.

    You really want to compare WSU to Niko and our lower bench? Really?

    That position is shear arrogance. You might as well throw in all of our history and NCs. It’s all about the same relevance to this conversation. All those factors helped us last year… and are starting to look to help us the same this year.

    I’m pushing everyone’s button because many in here despise WSU. I’m telling you all right now that hatred is holding you back from seeing reality. To deny what they are doing with the talent level they have is really missing the boat.

    No… I’m not saying we drop down and recruit players on their talent level. I’m just addressing the areas of strength they have and what is helping them be ranked ahead of us with walk on players.

    If it is so easy to do, we can start doing it now and start Niko and the rest.

    It sucks because I’m using WSU to point at our weaknesses. They beat some pretty good teams last year in the tourney, and I’ll be surprised if they don’t have some level of success again. It will be even harder because their SOS did suck. I still bet they will be formidable in the tourney… even with their walk on starters.

    I don’t have animosity towards WSU. So I can look at their game and see where they are succeeding… and in my books, they seem to be succeeding in areas where we need help. We are succeeding in areas they need help (recruiting).

    None of this is ignorance.

    Did you see their game yesterday? Bobby Knight was there as a paying fan and was interviewed about the Shocks… I’m basically mimicking factors that Knight talked about… just another ignorant fan I suppose?

  • @DinarHawk

    I will remain hopeful…

    I am venting my fears… it is hard to see us playing consistent throughout the tourney.

    It is games like this where many of us vent some things. It isn’t always easy to vent those things after other games where we still win, but show many of these same issues.

    We looked horrible yesterday.

    There is added stress now because we are less than a couple of weeks away from the tourney, and we have a game with 22 TOs? Most of those TOs were unforced!

  • @drgnslayr I hear you on how impressive it is that WSU has managed to maintain a level of excellence even against lesser teams that might be hard to get ‘up’ for. But I also believe the margin for error is greater for WSU if they don’t get as motivated for a game.

    They have not played many teams with individual talent like is seen on teams throughout the power conferences. My enthusiasm is curbed by knowing that if they went up against an unranked team like OSU twice, they would likely lose once. Especially if the previous three games included teams like ISU, Texas and KU. If they were a member of the ACC, Pac12, I think they would not be undefeated.

    That’s not to say they wouldn’t be among the best in the country… just to say, there’s context to be considered in assessing their record and it’s not insignificant.

  • @bskeet

    You are right… WSU has a smaller margin for error.

    This is part of why WSU is the perfect example for us.

    Because perhaps we use our high talent level as a crutch… we have such a large margin for error… so we have room to slack off.

    Otherwise… heck… we have the #1 and #2 recruits in the nation. We are a shoe-in to win another NC!

    I shouldn’t worry!

    I really hate being in this position. We sit on all the big talent then underachieve come tourney time. I can hear the jabs now… “KU, once again, underachieves at the Big Dance!”

    I hate that… and we should all hate that more than hating WSU. If we can understand that… we can swallow a little of our pride and better understand how we can capture some of those qualities that have helped them.

  • @drgnslayr Hopefully we got a bad game out of the way before the tournament:)

  • @drgnslayr What I said is a lineup of the coach’s sons could give Missouri St. a run for their money. You know, the team WSU played this weekend. I guess you misunderstood what I was saying.

    I think comparing KU’s game yesterday versus a team that has 3 NBA players on it to Missouri St. is ignorance. I think it’s very, very ignorant.

  • @DinarHawk

    I hope that is all it is.

    But why don’t we throw in some extra motivation for Tharpe. We come down on him hard now and he comes out and plays harder. It’s using the bullwhip instead of the carrot!

    He seems to respond to the whip.

  • @drgnslayr Hopefully that will be the case again and he will be motivated to take his team to Dallas.

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    What does talent level have to do with coming prepared and motivated?

    WSU plays teams with low talent level… but WSU has a low talent level, too. They beat up on their peers 31 times so far.

    If it makes you feel better… I’ll use the UCONN women’s team and make the same argument. They friggin’ rock!

    So I guess only the top NBA teams are prepared every game and motivated?

    Did you listen to Bobby Knight yesterday?

  • @drgnslayr Getting up to play has been a problem since Bill Self got here. Lets hope that this team has a sense of urgency in the tournament.

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    Sorry… this is the competitive part of me. And when I go in this mode I can be a jerk.

    Marcus Smart… move over!

  • @drgnslayr We’re getting far removed from the point now.

    You said why does WSU show up pumped and ready to play. I think the point is that they’re playing a team that is .500 in a historically bad conference. WSU is by far the superior team. How pumped do you need to be to beat Missouri St.?

    Your comparison of a historically phenomenal women’s team is just proving the point for me (I mean didn’t UConn go undefeated for two seasons??). When you’re playing a team that is significantly inferior to you, how pumped do you need to be?

    KU was playing a team that had 3 future NBA players on it (I’m point out how talented OSU is, not that NBA players are prepared and motivated every game…and it doesn’t hurt that they were fighting for the postseason fate). WSU won’t have play a game against a team with that kind of talent until the round of 32, or the Sweet Sixteen.

    To put it simply, how pumped does WSU need to be to play Evansville, Loyola, S. Illinois, etc. The comparison doesn’t work. It’s a poor one.

    It doesn’t matter though. No need to apologize. And you could never, ever, be as big of jerk as Marcus Smart.

  • we can swallow a little of our pride and better understand how we can capture some of those qualities that have helped them.

    @drgnslayr My view is that WSU plays exceedingly well as a unit and knows how to maximize their talents. I think this is what comes with a veteran team – understanding of how parts fit together… greater elasticity… ability to avoid mistakes and make up for them better.

    That gives them an advantage in many situations. They also have very good talent.

    We have exceptional talent at several positions, but not the experience of how to take advantage of each other. WSU is a better team right now than almost any other out there based on who they have played.

    I just don’t think they have been tested as much as some other schools… That doesn’t mean they won’t win when tested, it just means there’s a caveat in my mind. We don’t know as much about their weaknesses… and they don’t know as much about about their own weaknesses, either.

  • And you could never, ever, be as big of jerk as Marcus Smart.

    @MoonwalkMafia SO TRUE:


    thanks @CrimsonorBlue22 for the photo… Wowsa.

  • @bskeet @drgnslayr ^^^ Now that is something I’ll agree with. If we’re going to go singing WSU praises, how bout their defense (albeit against NAIA teams)? Their offense is average at best, but defense is the kind of thing that travels and can be turned up against anyone.

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    “You said why does WSU show up pumped and ready to play. I think the point is that they’re playing a team that is .500 in a historically bad conference. WSU is by far the superior team. How pumped do you need to be to beat Missouri St.?”

    I think you mean… how pumped up does KU needs to be to beat Missouri State. Missouri State is in WSU’s league… aren’t we all saying they don’t have the talent of B12 teams? WSU = MSU WSU needs plenty of motivation to beat MSU, especially at MSU. In fact, MSU game WSU the biggest scare this year by being the only team to take WSU to overtime! Meanwhile… WSU had less trouble at St. Louis, a Top 10 team.

  • @bskeet

    “And you could never, ever, be as big of jerk as Marcus Smart.”

    Well… I know me and I’ve had a good taste of Marcus Smart.

    I can match his jerkiness!

  • @drgnslayr I think we’re just going to keep repeating ourselves here. Let’s just agree to disagree.

    …Now all I can think of is Marcus Smart. Very irritated now.

  • @drgnslayr we all hate underachieving ! We’re a group that loves KU bb! Please understand, I don’t hate the WSU team, I love how they play hard! I have a sour taste for “chickenhawk” Marshall! When you suggested Self call him, that hurts, a lot of us! Everyone here respects you, I’m in awe of your knowledge on all things, it’s really hard to cross you! There’s no way I could win an argument w/you. I hope you understand what I mean??? Rock Chalk!

  • @MoonwalkMafia

    Talk about a grand slam… yesterday… for me… it was when Mr. Know-it-all Bilas supported one of Marcus Smart’s obvious flops.

    He then commented about how if Marcus keeps over emphasizing his falls it might turn against him.

    Wow, Bilas… about time. The entire world has discussed this for ages now and you finally pay attention.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    "When you suggested Self call him, that hurts, a lot of us! "

    I apologize. That is my competitiveness. I went for the biggest eye-opener to stress that we need help in that area.

    Like I said… Marcus Smart has nothing on me!

  • @drgnslayr I don’t think you are as bad as Smart! Not yet, anyway!

  • @drgnslayr did you all see he flopped on the baseline when Perry was called for the foul, not the tackle he had on Perry. Saw a gif on both of those today.

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Give me time! 😉

    What I do well is apologize after I attack peoples’ sensibilities.

    My ex used to call me out on that… said it was just part of my competitiveness. Still trying to prove I was right or whatever.

    My wife doesn’t play that hard. She just snickers at my competitiveness.

    She knows how to defuse and diffuse…

  • @drgnslayr smart lady!!!

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Not that smart. She ended up with me! 😉

    My ace in the hole is I let her know that pointing out how bad I am also points out how bad of a choice she made!

    Just one more competitive angle I’ve used…

  • Once again… sorry to everyone in here about some of my over-the-top statements. I have the upmost respect for everyone in here… I’m already feeling the sadness coming after the season is over and we are all busy in our gardens! Gonna miss everyone in here!

  • @drgnslayr I like Jay Bilas. Maybe now’s a good time to express how much I can’t stand Brent Musberger. Maybe that’s unfair…

    But clearly he doesn’t know the game or the players, and is just all around oblivious to what’s going on. Stick him with Fran Franschilla (who I do like, but doesn’t offer much to counter Brent’s ineptitude) and it’s bad news bears.

    I didn’t get to watch the game last night, I listed to it on the radio. Don’t know if anyone likes Bob Davis, but that’s a whole nother deal.

  • @DinarHawk-100% accurate, 22 TO’s is just insane. Plenty of blame to go around, including coach for not pushing the PT more towards alternate options.

Log in to reply