What We Have Here Is a Failure to Have a Trough, or KU Shoots 45% From Trey and Clemson Shoots 30%

  • The board rats that were confident that KU would keep shooting over 40% after doing so five or so games before the Clemson game, just got a bolus of reinforcement in the arm after KU rather calmly shot 45.5% from trey for a sixth consecutive hot game!

    Never one to look a win horse in the mouth, this was a good, unamped win against a good Clemson team.

    Put another way, Self most definitely appeared to save the big amp for the second game this weekend.

    And Clemson cooperated with the no amp, shoot hot strategy by shooting a miserable 30% beyond the trey stripe.

    This has become this KU team’s recipe for victory–shoot over 40% most of the time, and keep the opponents in the low 30%s from trey most of the time. And on the bad nights dunk with the Doke and try to win the disruption stats (i.e., strips, blocks and TOs). NOTE: an additional element of this strategy is to augment Doke with significant numbers on a per minute played basis by Silvio. Mitch contributes when the opponents bigs are smaller and more mobile.

    KU played like a bunch of experienced tradesman. Nothing fancy. They built leads. They defended leads. Self did not appear to me to show any new wrinkles, which means he gets to save them for a rainy day to come.

    Clemson’s coach, a Jim Crews disciple, which makes him a Bob Knight disciple, couldn’t keep KU from opening leads that it could then defend. Clemson’s coach looked like the usual Self victim at the end; i.e., he looked perplexed at how they had been beaten.

    Other specifics worth remarking on are few:

    a.) KU continued to use its new (for Self) and counter intuitive (for me) “don’t manage the clock at the end” strategy;

    b.) KU had some trouble with Clemson’s zone (KU has been noteworthy for NOT having trouble with zones this season);

    c.) Silvio with 9 points and 6 rebounds, not Mitch, was put in at crunch time to close out the game (indicating Self is feeling more and more confident in a guy that should be getting ready for Prom instead of playing so well in the March Carney);

    d.) KU won by only 4 in a game when it was hot and Clemson was cold, which leads dry washers about trough games, to worry about how badly KU would have been beaten by Clemson had the shooting percentages been reversed;

    e.) Doke’s leg got tweaked late in the game and looked pretty wooden walking off the court;

    f.) Devonte isn’t particularly sharp, but its hard to say if it was from the head shot of the previous game, or if it was Self no-amping this game;

    g.) Malik still appears to be a knife with a keen edge but he had to play 39 minutes;

    h.) Self did his equivalent of resting the players for the second game by having no one on the perimeter other than Malik play more than 36 minutes; and

    I.) Svi impressed with his ups again, but was only journeyman on offense.

    I have these takeaways.

    First, its hard to gauge KU from a no-amp effort in which they try to play just good enough to win. They are likely to come out sky high for the Elite Eight game. Its best to say that this team is now good enough to go out and just play good enough to win and beat a pretty good team in the process. KU with an all out performance would have clubbed Clemson.

    Second, each game that passes, the opponents get better, and the risk of a trough game from trey increases. KU is lucky it did not have a trough game against Clemson. It appears it would have lost decisively if the trey percentages were reversed. Most of the line score stats were similar but for the trey percentages in the Clemson v. KU game. With the game stats as they were, KU eeked out a 4 point win. Reverse the trey stats and Clemson hangs an L on us by a larger margin than just 4 points. But Self coached it right, and the KU players played it right, and there is no reason to second guess the Clemson game.

    Third, BUT there is reason to note that the hot shooting streak is now up to six games with three games to go. Who thinks KU will shot >40% from trey for 7 straight games? for 8 straight games? for 9 straight games? Nine straight seems extremely unlikely to me. I previously noted the shooting stats for the last 14 games. Add Clemson and you have 15.

    Right now, my best case scenario is KU and Duke shoot poorly, say 25-30% from trey, and KU eeks out another win, because Self has figured Coach K out. Next, KU shoots >40% in the semi finals and finals and KU wins the ring and AFH gets another banner.

    Worst case?

    Any game KU falls to 35% or less and the opponent shoots 35% or better from trey.

    The only thing that kind of haunts me about the upcoming game with Duke is this: the Clemson coach ran a lot of what Duke will run. This could be bad or good.

    Through a pessimistic lens, Coach K will have just had a terrific laboratory game to watch how KU operates on both ends of the floor against a Duke clone and it will undoubtedly let Coach K fine tune and find wrinkles for weaknesses.

    Through an optimistic lens, Self will have had a laboratory game to find out what did and didn’t work well; i.e., kind of a practice game for what Duke will do some.

    What to make of this odd situation?

    I am going to say that the KU players will be more comfortable with the Duke approach, after having just seen it versus Clemson, and the edge will go to KU.

    What a flipping great strategic game its going to be!!!

    Everyone pay close attention to the details.

    These two coaches know one helluva a lot about basketball and they are not going to be keeping any wrinkles in reserve.



    GO KU!

  • @jaybate-1.0 I think if you are up 15+ with 10 minutes or so to go and you want to use clock, I think the method should be to bleed about 10 seconds and then run your regular offense. I think when you bleed it down further your offense goes stale as our did and it is very difficult to re-ignite it.

  • @Barney agreed

  • @Barney

    I agree with you that that is what went on from about 10 to 3 minutes to go.

    I was referring to the last two minutes, especially the last minute.

    Guys kept taking shots instead of running the clock down.

    I can’t recall now who it was, but KU player took a three point shot!!!

    This same thing happened against Seton Hall.

    Whenever something anomalous happens twice in a row with a Self coached team, especially this late in the season, I suspect he has had some kind of an insight about how to play the game and he has decided to spring it on the opposition at a time of the game, or time of the season, when they aren’t likely to have the time and resources to figure out what he is doing.

    My hunch at this point is that Self has established a more complicated rule about when and where to shoot and not to shoot late in games.

    And sometimes players are now actually supposed to take shots, when in previously, they were uniformly supposed to milk the clock at the end.

    If it turns out not to be planned, i.e., if it turns out that seasoned KU players are just getting too excited and shooting when they are supposed to be holding the ball, then this will very quickly bite us in the collective butt.

  • @jaybate-1-0 “I can’t recall now who it was, but KU player took a three point shot!!!”

    Svi – twice

    1:58 0:28

  • One of Svi’s threes was with 5 seconds left on the shot clock, that’s livable.

  • On 3’s, I thought you’d like this from the UMBC coach after their win. Not that I’m here to argue merit, I’ll leave that to all of you with your better understanding of the game.


  • It took a long time for Self to realize it too. I hope we still shoot a lot of threes next year.

  • @BShark I hope we have guys that can make threes next year. (Langford would help!)

  • @dylans I don’t think it will be a big issue.

  • @BShark Depending on who returns it could be a good or very average shooting team. I look forward to awesome post play and slashing. Gotta defend a title or two.

  • @dylans I don’t think it will be comparable to the last two years but it will be passable. I’m not sure Romeo changes much from a 3pt perspective.

    Grimes is 153/382 (40%) his last two seasons. A decent shooter and better than what I could find of Romeo’s numbers. Vick if back is a proven 38% three shooter. Moore was 35% at Cal while chucking and should be better with a year off to practice under Self.

    Garrett and Dotson will be the biggest issues from three. Probably want to avoid playing them both at the same time.

    With KJ/Dedric/Silvio/Mitch in the post rotation, there is a lot of shooting ability there to help spacing.

    Doke isn’t a great shooter but I’d thrilled to have him back.

  • @reader22

    Very few persons can think.


    And until one works or studies with some legitimate thinkers, one really has no clue what thinkers are doing, can understand and operate on.

    The coach above said it took him 15 years to learn to do the smart thing. Inference: he is a slow learner that cant think. He couldn’t think then and he can’t think now. He just copies what works, which keeps him ahead of some non thinkers that aren’t even smart enough to copy.

    Only another non thinker would listen to him now, and think he understands better now than he did before.

    The reason a handful of coaches succeed wildly well and 90 % dont is that the former group actually understand what they are doing, and are not just copying rote. And when they do copy, it is not monkey see, monkey do, but copying with insight into why the new approach works.

    Self just flat understands more about how the pieces fit together and has a better eye and ear for tuning and fine tuning. It’s like race mechanics at Indy or formula one before the electronics algorithms overwhelmed the process. Some persons just get the complexity and no how to make an engine purr and recognize when it could feasibly be improved, and when you have to make do.

    This UMBC COACH is almost thought free.


    If you can think, it’s so obvious. If you can’t think, nothing is.

    The difference between the great coaches and the UMBC coach is that the great ones understand the complex of drivers that result in the corner J being such a good shot. He is just a monkey see/monkey do guy spouting reductions, or he is not sharing what he really understands.

  • BShark said:

    Doke isn’t a great shooter but I’d thrilled to have him back.

    Didn’t he have the highest shooting percentage in the country?!?

    I get your point, but he’s smart enough to take the shots he can make. Monster dunks!

  • @tundrahok His hook shot is developing nicely tbh. However assuming he is back I still never want to see him take a jumper. 😂

  • @BShark

    Doke is not the savant Embiid is but he has made consistent and solid progress and now he had several go to moves under the basket. It would not surprise me to see him develop a short jumper over the summer to go along with his baby hook.

  • Doke would be a scoring machine next season , if he had another off-season to work on his offense beyond dunking. The guy had an operation that kept him out most of last season. It is a miracle he is as good as he is, given how much time he set out. Before he injured his knee, he actually ran the floor faster than Embiid. He is a potentially great center, if he still has two good knees and can work the kink out of his shooting arm, which he will do, if he stays at KU. But his knee injury looks much worse than reported.

  • jaybate 1.0 said:

    But his knee injury looks much worse than reported.

    Not really.

  • @BShark @jaybate-1-0 Any way to find how many dunks Dok has had this season? It has to be a KU record. I think he is back so he can prefect a 6-10 foot jumper. He will be top lottery.

  • @Fightsongwriter

    I want what you want.

    But there would be quite a log jam in the paint, if Doke, Silvio, and the Lawsons, and whatever other bigs Self has signed were to fill the roster next season.

    One dream I have had lately is that this log jam scenario does occur and Self responds by once again doing the unexpected.

    My dream is while everyone else is following the recent trend that he too jumped on of 4-1 sets with rosters crammed with trey ballers that Self instead goes to a 1-4 with four bigs playing on the floor at one time–each within one to two dribbles from the rim on offense. One point guard just feeds these guys all game, by lobs, or by driving and dishing amidst the forrest of big trees. KU’s FG% goes to an unprecedented record of 75% and KU beats every three point shooting team it plays by an average margin of 15 points.

    On defense, this super team of 4 bigs plays a stretch 1-3-1 zone with the two wings blocking all threes taken within 25 feet of the basket; thus lowering all opposing team’s trey shooting to about 25-30% from beyond 25 feet.

    For good measure, Self rotates his two 5-star point guard recruits to keep them running full tilt and fast breaking with the Lawsons every chance, while Self occassionally rests both and goes long at the point with Lagerald Vick or Marcus Garrett.

    But its only a dream.

  • @jaybate-1-0 if he runs off sam and red shirts mitch he has enough schollies to keep all the big guys including Dok. And that is with malik and vick back. We would be a power house

  • @jaybate-1.0

    After the KU / Duke game today, I expect a full analysis of both sides and their respective wrinkles.

  • @Fightsongwriter

    Agreed. It’s not hard to get the scholies. It’s hard to make the kind of big team Self likes ( 3-2 with 4 big rotation at the 4 and 5 ) with 4 bigs that all want to start. He can beat them into submissions (and will) but it won’t be a happy family.

    If Self could go 2-3 with Dedrick at the 3, then the bigs would resolve easily. But then there would be a log jam at 1 and 2. He has 3 point guards becoming eligible (including two 5-stars) plus Lagerald and Marcus apparently returning, and maybe Malik. Cunliffe likely will transfer, or red shirt. I don’t see 5 starters sharing 2 backcourt spots.

    He might encourage Malik and Doke to leave just to solve the numbers problem even though neither one seems ready to be drafted very high. Doke would have gone high, but the knee injury will make him iffy.

  • @jaybate-1.0 There might be some bucking but I think Grimes play much more 2/3 than actual pg.

  • @Lulufulu

    I will try, but these two coaches are soooo wily they will probably fool me easily! 😀

    They thing brilliantly in real time. It often takes me days or weeks to catch on.

  • BShark said:

    @jaybate-1.0 There might be some bucking but I think Grimes play much more 2/3 than actual pg.

    I hope you are right; that would give Self more flexibility.

  • @jaybate-1.0 It comes down to Grimes accepting it. He seems like a good kid, but we won’t know until it comes up.

    Ahhhh the problems of a loaded roster. Feels nice to have again.

  • @jaybate-1-0 Big Rotation Dok, Lawson, Silvio, McCormick

    Guard/Forward Rotation Malik, Vick, Moore, Lawson, Grimes, Garrett, Dotson

    Going 11 deep next year. Mitch RS, Sam RS or gone. Very crowded. Practices will be a bear. Might need Malik to go Pro, but agree he is not quite ready.

  • @jaybate-1-0 But who cares!!! We are going to the freaking Final Four!!!

  • I don’t like talking next year, final 4 baby

  • @Crimsonorblue22 back 2 back I say

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