What of Lightfoot and Cunliffe?

  • The NO PLAY of Mitch stood out like a sore thumb in the Finals. KU needed some one to guard Nova’s bigs on the trey stripe. Mitch was the only guy up to the challenge. Self DNP-ed him, except may be the last minute. Very, VERY ominous sign.

    Cunliffe went in cryogenesis sometime shortly after becoming eligible. He was behind some good players. Okay. But one of them was Vick they would reputedly have us believe is movin’ on up, to the east side, to make room for some hot young guns. If starter Vick can’t see daylight as a senior, Cunliffe must be looking out of the cryo ice into something after midnight.

    So: are Mitch and Sam the next to seek greater opportunities elsewhere?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    I really don’t read much into it. Most teams in the second and third weekend of the tournament play only 6 or 7 players and Coach Self probably saw an unfavorable match up.

    Coach Self has consistently spoken highly of Mitch and he is the player that gives all out effort every time, something Coach Self values highly. Mitch is not going anywhere.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    I agree. Playing 6-7 in a game in the FF is NOT what this is about.

    IT IS ABOUT WHICH 6-7 he chose to play. His hands were no longer tied as earlier in the season. He could have set Doke the second half and played either Mitch or Silvio who appeared to offer much better matchups against Paschal than Doke.

    He could arguably have set Doke and Svi and gone with Silvio and Mitch for better matchups on guarding the trey and rebounding, since Self decided to drive and shoot so much inside the trey stripe the last 20. Svi’s unsuccessful drives could have been redistributed to DG, Malik and Vick.

    Self made some very peculiar choices.

  • Mitch struggles to rebound, Self just didn’t have any good post options against Villanova.

    Mitch isn’t going anywhere. Cunliffe might.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Mitch is a born and bred Jayhawk. He bleeds crimson and blue and isn’t leaving. He came to Kansas knowing being buried on the bench most of his career was a possibility.

  • @BShark But Silvio’s rebounding is much better than Doke … the gap between Doke and Silvio, per 40, is nearly double the gap between Mitch and Doke. That’s pretty amazing. The option of Doke guarding what Nova was throwing at us was a losing proposition and begged an adjustment once it was shown to be a loser.

    @jaybate-1-0 Like you, I did find it odd that Mitch didn’t get even a cursory look. Mitch has been a spark at times, and he’s the best shot blocker we have. He’s been a guy Self has relied on and trusted. It was a tool in the tool belt that went unused. It’s interesting that @JayHawkFanToo suggested Self “probably saw an unfavorable match-up.” But with all that 3-D chess going on, did Self thus not see the unfavorable match-up that kicked our a** in the first 10 minutes?

    The point is not whether he may have seen some pregame “unfavorable match-up” – I’m sure he did, and just thought Doke and Silvio were better. I did too. But that is irrelevant when the game marches on and your gameplan isn’t working (working defined not only by the score, but by completely open shots taken by the opponent). Mitch played all season, and then not at all. None. And I understand that when all things are “normal.” I"m good with that. But this game was not normal. We appeared to have no answers, and we didn’t try a possible answer.

    It is a bit more irritating in hindsight. No aggressive press, no trap, no junk defense – nothing substantive. A few possession of zone, Nova scores, and we scrap it. I look for answers from the bench when things spiral on the court.

    The reality is that anything Self did that night may not have been enough. In fact, I think that’s the most likely answer. But I sure wish we had tried.

    Of course, sometimes, just continuing to chop wood is the answer. Defensively, I don’t think anyone thinks that was really the best path playing from behind, given what we saw. But forgetting that, when we get to the last 10 minutes, we have to pull out everything we have. With the season and a possible national championship on the line. And we didn’t. That is frustrating.

    All that said, Mitch is back, no doubt. Hopefully a 5 year player.

    With Cunliffe, if we don’t get Langford, there is a path were he could actually be a starter – shooting on this team would be at a premium and he might offer that. But it’s pretty obvious he was not the favored child this past season.

  • @HighEliteMajor I think Bill would go full on UVA and Tony Bennett pace before he started Cunliffe lol.

    The real question is how good is Ochai. If he is better than Cunliffe, there is no path that Cunliffe can get time even off the bench.

    But perhaps the staff likes Cunliffes upside. He’s the best pure athlete on the team. Maybe he would be willing to redshirt, an option a lot haven’t talked about. That would give him the option of a grad transfer as well if he never improves enough to get time.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Exactly. Self pulled in his horns the entire game, drove it, Silvio had a better first half than Doke and a rotation of Silvio and Mitch would have massively outrebounded Doke’s debounding, once Nova blew 35% cold, as they predictably did. What was needed was a double post to match up with Nova. Silvio and Mitch were a much better match up than 1 kneed Doke and combo guard Svi. And Self could have rotated 1-kneed Doke for 5 minute blows for both.

    How many teams as good as “the find-a-way boys” became have you seen that could not make a run the second half, when a hot first half team blew cold the second half? Not saying win, but close the gap. It was looney that KU could not close the gap down to 10 by the end.

    Self looked completely not himself in post game interview. He looked almost guilty, rather than shell shocked. He showed no fight in the game at all. He coached this one as passively as he coached the Stanford loss.

    The pieces don’t fit.

  • Mitch isn’t going anywhere. - I have talked to countless people and all pretty much say the same with him. - -Next year will be the perfect year for Mitch to Redshirt . - We have so much depth in the front court next year Both Lawson’s - - -De Sousa . McCormack . Quite possibly Doke - -really from what most people say/talk about with Mitch is, he just needs the year to bulk up -add some weight , strengthening – -really like his work ethic - - pretty decent shot blocker - -has that workman approach - looks as though he has no problem taking the charge - just a scrappy kid - gonna be a really decent 4/5 year player for us. - -Mitch would have been another bad match up against Villanova- -again Villanova’s big were much more physical then Mitch being able to matchup with - -just not the make up to be able to contain them he would of been overmatched inside against them - thus again needed redshirt.

    Like others in this thread have stated Mitch isn’t going anywhere he loves it here - -he loves the school he is 1000000% KU Crimson and Blue transferring for Mitch is not even an option - I think with a Redshirt Mitch will be a nice bonus for us these next couple of years.

    As far as Sam - -totally different - -I think somehow Sam got in Coach’s doghouse and I mean deep - so his playing time any playing time was out the window for this year – Now this coming year I think he for sure would get caught up in the numbers game and again will not see much playing time - -his only option would be to transfer to a D-2 school so he could play immediately - -just a bad scenario for him - - -if either of the two transfer it for sure will be Sam - -ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

  • Texas Hawk 10 said:

    @jaybate-1.0 Mitch is a born and bred Jayhawk. He bleeds crimson and blue and isn’t leaving. He came to Kansas knowing being buried on the bench most of his career was a possibility.


    If Mitch transfers I will ban myself.

  • @HighEliteMajor Doke is a poor rebounder too, I won’t contest that. I actually thought Mitch would get some tick too.

    Cunliffe won’t start next season barring something truly insane.

  • @BShark you won’t be the only one

  • I heard Cunliffe talking after one of the tournament games. He sounded happy and optimistic about next year. He mentioned waiting his turn until his number was called. Who knows though? Last year showed things can change alot in the off-season.

  • @jayhawkeyes I saw he was participating in a pick-up game with Mitch at the KU rec today. If he were sitting around sulking and going to transfer, that doesn’t seem like something he would do.

  • Cunliffe can stay if he wants. He could play some back-up, mop, whatever. He might play more his junior or senior year. Meeotch is great for our bigs and he is good to bring in for 2-5 mins to give the bigs a quick breather. But he will be needed to run plays.

  • @truehawk93 Next year is his JR year unless he redshirts. The rules are weird. Each of his half years count as a full year of eligibility but he still has a redshirt available.

  • BShark said:

    @truehawk93 Next year is his JR year unless he redshirts. The rules are weird. Each of his half years count as a full year of eligibility but he still has a redshirt available.

    Oh that’s right, he did transfer from ASU.

  • Regarding current or incoming players, right now I feel like a white dress shirt flapping in the mid day wind, hoping no pigeons come along to perch at rest between the clothespins.

  • @Buster-1926 Well if Doke goes pro and Silvio is suspended, Mitch is suddenly the 3rd or 4th big. He’d certainly get some tick.

  • @Buster-1926 I think Justin Wesley went back and forth from scholie and walkon. Isn’t he the one who is the cousin of Keith Langford who footed his bills?

  • @mayjay Yes on both accounts, but I believe he started as a walk-on.

    Played Wilt too.

Log in to reply