Michigan Actually Plays D

  • Crazy.

    Also…Belein is really something.

    The HS ranking of all their rotation players via 247: #119, #434, #93, #133, #142, #67 (FR), a DIVISION THREE transfer and a Kentucky washout.

    Dude can COACH.

  • Villanova starting to play though

  • Yeah I jinxed Michigan. Though Belein taking out two of his better players as soon as they hit two fouls effected the game. I don’t think be brought either one back in. 😕

  • Welp, you tried Michigan.

  • Pretty sure I saw this game saturday

  • except we would have won if Nova had shot this poorly (33% from 3 so far)

  • Precisely why Coach Self will never ‘bet the farm’ on over-reliance of the 3, ever. He plays percentage basketball. Villanova is very, very comfortably ahead with a sub-par shooting 3 night.

  • @BShark dude not looking so great.

  • DiVincenzo 3 star ranked 120. Wright must have a hell of an eye for talent. He’s on a heck of a run without needing to tap into the 1 and done market.

  • Blown said:

    DiVincenzo 3 star ranked 120. Wright must have a hell of an eye for talent. He’s on a heck of a run without needing to tap into the 1 and done market.

    Wright and Belein are both very good at finding hidden gems tbh.

  • Hope Nova loses everyone. Or Bill can find a way to rattle off 2 in 3.

    Jay Wright just went from great coach to Legend tonight.

  • Gems like frank and DG?

  • I actually forgot about the game. I don’t care and figured Nova would win. I heard the CBS analyst gushing on Nova being a blueblood, which this blueblood thing is out of hand. I don’t think NCs define bluebloods, which Nova has two(?) in the last few years, and they have a few more to get before they reach “blueblood” status. I think the difference in a great basketball program and a “blueblood” is something we hear all the time.

    A great program rebuilds and it might take them 2-3 years to smell another NC, like Nova. A blueblood is a program that simply reloads and they smell a NC every year. Doesn’t necessary mean they’ll win, but they simply do not rebuild for 2-3 years, they reload with equal or better talent year in and out.

  • Michigan learned from us what happens when you fail to play DEFENSE.

  • Nova has 5 final fours all time. Not a blue blood yet, but they are knocking in the door.

  • CRH107 said:

    Precisely why Coach Self will never ‘bet the farm’ on over-reliance of the 3, ever. He plays percentage basketball. Villanova is very, very comfortably ahead with a sub-par shooting 3 night.

    Winning a title isn’t enough to bet the farm?

  • @DanR Even if Nova would have shot 33%, with 40 attempts, they still would have had more points if just looking at the final result with that percentage. They ended at 37%. Same thing.

    @Crimsonorblue22 DG was the rivals #36 player overall and we signed him in the spring. Frank was #76. Frank I think would fit the “gem” category, being lower ranked and only moving up to that spot from like 134 after we signed him in fall.

    Beyond Frank, I struggle for our gems. What I had seen is the pursuit of the highest ranked guys, including OADs. Is our current class different? Maybe.

    I also see our lower ranked guys, quite frankly, being anchors that stifle us as a team by their overuse - Brady, Reed, Traylor, Lucas. The latter two killing multiple years of KU basketball by their extreme overuse and reliance. This was exacerbated by strikeouts on recruiting targets and signing of guys Self for whatever reason wouldn’t play as other coaches would have.

    Both coaches in the title game thrive on getting talented and productive players that fit, vs the tired and disproven approach of just going after the highest ranked players and presumed OADs.

    It’s just an inexact science. However, I think focusing on high talent fit and just avoiding the presumed OADs is the best bet. Much like our current class. Again, it’s all still an imperfect pursuit.

  • @HighEliteMajor Garrett might end up being a hidden gem. His final ranking is deceptive. KU was on him when he was unranked and his only had offers were from Baylor and SMU.

  • @BShark Well, I’d agree, but the question of whether Garrett might be better off shooting his 3s granny-style still persists.

  • We know what we are getting from Garrett the next 3 years defensively. He can only get better right?

    Anyone notice the staff trying to work him into a secondary ball handler like the end of half play against Seton Hall with Graham in foul trouble. It’s good to have options. No ego on the kid, unselfish and wants to win.

    I trust the staff will work with him diligently to improve his shot the next 3 years. Really we need to see the improvement next season or his value can be argued along the lines with Brady, Reed, Lucas etc. Even if they can get him to 33% from 3 and 60-65% from the line we are talking a good jump next season. He is a proven scorer around the basket and I can imagine Hudy will continue to improve him so he can play a bigger role. Now that he’s gotten a chance to learn from the veterans I can see him taking on more of a vocal and leadership role.

  • Good job by Nova, they are simply the best team this year. Michigan played solid for much of the first half but Nova also missed several open shots that they didn’t last week. Nova has won every post season game this year by at least 10 points, hard to dominate like that, they earned it.

  • @HighEliteMajor @BeddieKU23

    The staff is reworking Garrett’s shot which is part of the struggle this year. It’s something they are good at so I bet we see solid improvement.

    People like to use the Releford comp for Garrett but his first season is ahead of Releford’s first two seasons and considering Releford’s 2nd season was his third year in the program it’s not a stretch to say he could end up with a better career than Releford.

    Keith Langford is actually a pretty good comp for Garrett. We’d take that right?

    Garrett has shown an ability to get in the paint. Against big 12 competition even. My eyes tell me he was much better than anyone but Graham at it and certainly a lot more willing than Vick. He’s a pretty good passer too. I can admit I look like I might be wrong about him playing PG. He could easily be the back-up PG next season.

  • @kjayhawks They were simply superior offensively, and defensively to every team they played in the tournament. They beat every team by double digits. They were the best by a long way, imo.

  • @KUSTEVE When you have a guy off the bench that can drop 30, you are probably the best team in the nation.

  • @Kcmatt7 I was told they can’t be though because they didn’t win their “midmajor conference”.

  • @BShark I just hope it means DiVincenzo leaves early unexpectedly. He looks like an NBA player.

  • @Kcmatt7 I bet he stays. But I’d love to see him go.

  • If Garrett doesn’t develop a jumpshot, he will end up being a liability. Basketball is moving more and more towards a four or five out offensive set. If teams don’t have to respect your shooting, you had better be an absolutely blur with your slashing ability, or you are an offensive liability. Villanova wasn’t guarding Garrett on the perimeter, which made it difficult for him (and others) to drive with him on the court. They sagged off him and he couldn’t keep them honest from the perimeter.

    That won’t hurt KU in the regular season, but with 5 days to prepare, good coaches with talented teams will isolate him in the tournament.

    That has always been something that hurts Coach Self. He doesn’t prepare to account for his guys’ weaknesses, so you end up with teams not covering Lucas and Traylor, or daring Morningstar to beat them with threes, or forcing Doke to cover a jumpshooter 20 feet from the basket. Villanova got a great performance last night from DiVencenzo, but the key was that he can shoot and handle the ball. He’s a good athlete, so you can’t exploit him defensively. He’s not an elite guy on any of those things, but when you are spread out like Nova spreads you, the seams in the defense allow any good shooter to get rolling, and once that happened, Nova found the hot hand and kept feeding him.

    With Self, most of his “glue guys” are guys that simply aren’t very good offensively. Morningstar could hit an open three, but he couldn’t slash and he was an average D1 athlete at best. Traylor and Lucas couldn’t shoot past 10 feet. Those limitations make it exceptionally hard to win basketball games. The real reason 2008 was Self’s title year is that he didn’t play anyone that was a legitimate liability on either end. In 2012, Kevin Young was a bit of a liability offensively. This year, depending on matchups, whomever played the 5 spot was a liability either offensively or defensively - Doke couldn’t handle speed, Lightfoot couldn’t handle size, De Sousa was not quite ready yet. That makes it tough when you have to hide guys on one end or the other (that’s why we beat Duke).

  • @justanotherfan You’re on 🔥 lately. Well said.

    I think the staff has shown they can get guys shots corrected. I have faith this will happen with Garrett. Garrett should be able to get it to a respectable level and with everything else he brings that’s good enough.

    DiVincenzo is a testament to Villanova’s program. They find dudes and develop them. Look at his numbers as a FR before he got hurt. I have nothing but respect for their program.

    Every player in the top 6 of their rotation is a great fit for everything they want out of their program. They have a plan. Find guys that are athletic, pesky defenders that can shoot.

    Self hasn’t been working with a full cupboard for a couple seasons now. Somewhat ironically his last two final fours have come when he has had limited resources. If only he could bottle that no pressure/looseness of those teams for some of his loaded teams.

    @HighEliteMajor trigger warning. Self had depth with the 15-16 team but he absolutely blew it. He played Lucas and Traylor over 1100 minutes combined. Hunter Mickelson and Cheick not playing more baffled me. Even Bragg played more than Mickelson. I don’t get it. Hunter was one of best options on that team from what I saw in limited minutes, including being an absolute monster on D. Too bad he didn’t get more of a chance.

  • @HighEliteMajor To me, suggesting that future college basketball success is dependent on adopting one offensive strategy is myopic. In the after game interview, Wright seemed effusively apologetic for his team’s hot shooting night…generous of a coach who knew deep down he was holding all the cards on that night and every other night of the tourney. Sometimes a nova comes along…like 2 championships in 3 years, or back-to-back championships, or an undefeated season but the spoils typically go to the innovators…to the copy cats not so much.

  • justanotherfan said:

    In 2012, Kevin Young was a bit of a liability offensively.

    Justin Wesley… Brutal

  • @CRH107

    You do have to innovate, but you have to innovate in the direction that things are moving. Right now, things are moving away from post ups and power basketball, to more of a drive and kick, four or five out offensive set.

    You have to be able to defend those types of sets, because every midmajor will be running that type of set in the next few years - it’s easier to find good guards than it is to find skilled big men. There are probably 15 guys in the KC area that are 6-5 or smaller that will play D1 somewhere. Any program can get most of those players. If you can’t guard guys one on one when they put the ball on the floor, you will be surrendering open threes. Do that against a good shooting team and, well, we saw how a defense can get shredded in short order on Saturday night.

    You can have whatever offensive gameplan you want, but if every other team is spreading the floor and shooting the three, you had better be able to at least defend that, regardless of what you do on the other end.


    I do think Self and staff can get Garrett’s shot corrected. My major worry is that, although his shot isn’t significantly mechanically broken (like Doke’s FT stroke), the fact that it is reasonably sound and yet he is a legitimately bad shooter is a concern. For instance, Josh Jackson’s shot had some mechanical flaws, but he was a better shooter than Garrett. When your mechanics are good, but your shot is bad, it’s like being a pitcher with good mechanics that still can’t throw strikes. If you can’t fix the problem by fixing the mechanics, you have to just hope the person gets better. That’s a tough bet. Garrett is a good athlete, and good athletes tend to be able to adjust, but this summer is crucial in his development.

    Depth is developed over time. Part of that is that you have to play guys in situations that help them develop. I have beaten this drum for a while now, but Self cuts his rotation down too early in the season. That prevents you from developing depth. Guys have to play. Sam Cunliffe didn’t play this year. Could he have been our ace in the hole if we needed to go small in a tournament game against a hot shooting, perimeter oriented team? KU was thin this year, but by the end of the season, our roster still had 9 legitimate D1 major conference players on it - Graham, Vick, Svi, Newman, Doke, De Sousa, Lightfoot, Garrett and Cunliffe. Yet in the last couple games of the season, Lightfoot didn’t play, and Cunliffe basically never played all year.

    If you want depth, in February when you’re playing TCU, you have to give Cunliffe 10-12 minutes. You have to make sure De Sousa is playing 10 minutes a game. Same for Lightfoot. Garrett has to get minutes on the floor where he has to run the offense without Devonte. Sometimes Malik should have to initiate the offense with Svi and Cunliffe on the wings. Vick should have been doing that as well.

    You can’t develop depth if you only have guys in specific roles and never challenge them to handle other responsibilities for a few minutes a game.

    DiVincenzo came off the bench for Nova basically all year. And yet, do you know how many games he scored 20+? Five. He even went for 30 once. So DiVincenzo going off in the title game was a surprise to the rest of the nation, but not if you were a Villanova fan. He had five games where he hit five or more threes. If you watched Villanova all year, you knew DiVincenzo could get hot and carry the night offensively. He did it a few times this year. That’s how you develop depth. He had a role that he could excel in, but he was also put in a position where if he got hot, he could explode.

    Why did Brannen Greene never do that at KU?

    Why didn’t Svi have a game or two like that every season prior to this year?

    Andrew White? Cheick Diallo? Guys with a lot of potential that did more sitting and watching than anything else while at KU.

    Where was Elijah Johnson in 2011? He played 5 minutes against VCU while Morningstar and Reed went a combined 2-16 from the field.

    Self has always tightened his rotation when he gets into tough games, which means if his main guys are struggling, his team is doomed. That’s what happened against Oregon - Vick played 27 minutes off the bench. Coleby played four. That was it for bench play.

    But that’s not a March problem. That’s a February problem. You shouldn’t be playing a guy 40 minutes, because you might not be able to ride him for 40 minutes in the tournament. These are the lessons March continues to teach. Next January we will find out what we learned.

  • Completely agree about Self and tight/big games. He doesn’t use his bench nearly enough.

  • This all might became moot if the lane is widened and the 3 point line moved to where the international or NBA lines are. The current line is too close and too easy for good shooters to score from there. Moving the line back would restore some order to college basketball. Vitale makes the point in this video.

  • @justanotherfan While I was checking for something else I found something interesting. Svi actually shot 28% from three his FR year. Not saying Garrett turns into Svi from three but interesting.

  • @HighEliteMajor He needs arch on his shot, from the free throw line also.

  • @BShark

    Svi’s freshman percentages were not good. However, Svi was regarded as a good shooter from the time he came onto the scene at the Nike hoop summit in 2014.

    At the end of

    Svi is just putting up jumpers and nailing them. I have never seen Garrett shoot that proficiently. Svi’s percentages just reverted back to his true skill level his sophomore year, then stayed there as he got more time later in his career.

    Svi has always been a good shooter. Garrett has not. That’s my worry with him. The results have never been there.

  • @justanotherfan He shot well enough in HS from mid-range. I think he can get his 3pt% up to about 33-34% which is livable.

  • @BShark Well as long as he finished in the high 50s% from 2pt range.

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