So What's Different This Year

  • We have a new approach this year that is designed to help this team go farther in the tournament. Several things are different this year than in years past, that are going to make a huge difference, in my opinion.

    • Did you notice how fresh the skeleton crew was in the B12 tournament? For years, our players looked like they were completely exhausted after the B12 conference season. I remember many us openly hoping we would lose the first game of the tournament so we could get some rest. I remember us commenting many times how much fresher other teams looked in the NCAA tournament. My conclusion is we practiced ourselves into the ground, and by the end of the season, we were flat spent. How many times did we see Frank barely able to function at the end of the year? He still managed, but the quickness he displayed earlier in the year had slowed down considerably. So, the lack of bench forced Coach to give guys days off from practice, and we looked as fresh a team as I can remember in the B12 tournament. This could be quite huge in the tournament.

    • One of gripes I’ve had over the years was it always seemed like our teams played like a deer in headlights in the big games in the tournament. It seemed like we were carrying the weight of the world on our backs. Coach would get tight, the players would get tight, and then we’d lose to teams we had no business losing to. 2008 was the exception, for sure. Those guys played loose, played hard, and were just tough as a nut. When you contrast that with the way the team looked playing WSU, Michigan, Stanford, or Oregon, it’s quite a difference. I think those teams wore the burden, and played tight as a drum. I’ve heard Coach Self say he wants the team to simply enjoy playing - play with a free mind. And that’s what has been lacking. No way in hell does Oregon beat us if our team is just as fresh as they were, and our team was playing loose and free. If our mindset is not locked down with fear, we’re not going to lose games we shouldn’t lose. And just like when Bill finally realized the value of the 3 point line, and starting implementing that into his offense, his realization of the importance of simply playing free is enormous, imo. Ummm…when was the last time we won the B12 tournament by double digits over every opponent? Have we ever done that? This could one of those years when the other teams are the ones freezing up, and we’re the ones bringing the wood. RCJHGKU

  • Nice take on the difference this year. I say we bring the bubblin’ crude and cement pond to the dance, and show 'em all who the best team is this year!!!

  • @KUSTEVE amen, hell yea, well-said, and agree 100%!

    Not only did we kick B12 tourney @ss, look fresh, and have good players eager to come off the bench, as was noted on another thread we got a big ol honkin chip on our shoulder. How many punkass pundits, plus a good chunk of board rats too, don’t have our #1 seed playing in the FF.

    Screw that, we’re going to win and win and win some more this year.

  • @KUSTEVE Agree! And I would add:

    –Recall many more player ‘shoutouts’ to Billy Cowgill (KU Sports Medicine) this year than years’ past (senior night speeches and after game interviews). Also, saw a photo with an apparatus attached to our players’ legs to help recovery…not certain if it is medically sound or a placebo effect but regardless it appears to be working.

    –Devonte will only be pushed if we have to play overtime(s). Otherwise, the ‘forty minute man’ will be good to go thanks to a season of consistent hardening.

    –Coach Self appears to have modified his strategy of sending the team out flat for the first of two (or more) tournament games (e.g., March Madness 2017 and Big 12 Tournament 2018) adopting more of a ‘go big or go home’ approach each game.

  • @CRH107 I think that apparatus that they showed is similar to the device that olympic athletes such as Michael Phelps and more recently NBA players (GS Warriors) are using. It stimulates bloodflow to the muscle which brings in oxygen and helps accelerate the recovery of muscle fatigue.

  • We all know we have had the roster over the years to do much better in the tournament. We have become the poster child for underachieving in the tournament. So, in order for us to move up, and advance, things have to change. And as far as I am concerned, changing the mindset, and helping the guys to be much fresher could have a profound effect on the results. I remember year after year with Roy losing to teams that were way inferior to us. Arizona…Syracuse are the big ones that come to mind. The conclusion was that Roy just couldn’t win the big game. And he goes off, and wins 3 national titles with UNC. The last one, he didn’t look like a scared to death coach icing his team - he looked poised, and calm, and his team reflected it. So, maybe the answer isn’t getting an NBA Jr. team as much as making sure your players are fresh, both physically, and mentally. If this team somehow goes farther than POY Frank Mason, and NBA lottery pick Josh Jackson, then maybe we’ve finally found the formula.

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