Can KU Afford Marcus Garrett's Offense, as a Starter, to Get His Good, Perhaps Eventually Lock Down, Defense?



  • I started out a doubter on Marcus Garrett, as a freshman.

    By three quarters of the season, he made me a believer that he could defend and rebound.

    For a game or two, it seemed he might find his stroke as a shooter, and become more than a defensive specialist, but then it never happened.

    His season stats for offense as a freshman are as follows:

    FG%, 45.6%

    FT% 49.0%

    3pt% 26.7%

    These offensive stats can be viewed two ways.

    View 1: its amazing Marcus played as well as he did, having been an unheralded freshman thrown into the frying pan, and a year of physical maturation and shooting practice will enable him to improve considerably on those stats, as a sophomore.

    View 2: We have a defensive specialist that will get much bigger and stronger as he matures, and so become a lock down defender, but, Houston, we have a problem on offense.

    I have seen freshman sharply improve their FG% and 3pt% over a four year college career with practice, better looks, and growing confidence and endurance. I have also seen them not.

    But I do not recall a freshman that shot 49% from the FT stripe, become an 80% FT shooter, or even a 70% FT shooter. I suspect it has happened, and I don’t recall it. But, regardless, I suspect the odds are strongly against a 49% FT shooter becoming better than a 65% FT shooter when all the practicing is done.

    So: in the three point era that college basketball increasingly finds itself determined by, the question is: can KU afford Marcus Garrett’s mediocre offense, especially his current 49% FT shooting as a starter to get his good to lock down level of defense at the 3, or better yet, the 2 position, where his 6-5 length might offer serious defensive match up advantage? Remember, even if he loads on the muscle, he will still not be as tall as some of the NBA bound 3s he would have to guard sometimes, especially from the Sweet 16 on.

    In the old days of XTreme Muscle and Self Defense famed for putting bodies on offenders, Marcus Garrett, with another 15 pounds, would have fit right into the KU Jayhawks of 5 years ago, if Self were between draftchoice grade players at the 2, or 3.

    But in the new days where wings must not only be able to stretch to guard the trey, but also make the trey, and in the contemporary game where one has to covert a short deuce into a short trey at the FT line, or one has wasted a possession against an opponent brimming with three point shooters, that 49% FT shooting percentage on 51 attempts and that 26.7% 3pt accuracy on 45 attempts is kind of concerning, even when one factors in some reasonable improvement.

    Next year’s team does not appear to have a single three point shooter as accurate as Svi (44%), DG (40%) and Malik (41%).

    Put another way, last year’s team had so many dead eyes that it could compensate for Garrett’s offensive deficiencies, but the coming team appears not to be similarly able.

    There is little question that Self has a place for a guy that can guard as well as Garrett. There is little question that Garrett will improve on defense and in his floor game. But there significant question whether the likely improvement Garrett will make on offense will be enough for Self to afford Garrett as a starter on next season’s team that may have significantly less efficiency on offense than the last one.

    And if Doke and Silvio are no longer apart of the program, which now appears more than a 50/50 probability, well, does anyone think KU can guard its way into another conference title and a run in the Carney with Garrett starting and playing 30-35 minutes?

    Self is a genius and a magician, but without a rim protector and without significant three point shooting, what will separate this coming KU team from most other mid echelon teams?

    One has to hope that his two 5 star guards and Moore turn out to be prolific and efficient scorers from outside, because using Dedric like Wayne Simien in the 25-35 3 PTA era could be a rude awakening to the caustic after effects of the apparent recent recruiting embargo and the high risk recruiting baggage players that have not panned out in recent years.

    In conclusion, it seems that Garrett’s future as a starter depends on two things:

    a.) how much can he improve that FT and 3PT shooting; and

    b.) how efficiently productive on offense the new 5-star point guards turn out to be.

    We have to assume, for the sake of our sanities, that the Lawson brothers will be effective D1 bigs regardless. If they fall short of expectations, we could be facing a blood bath, regardless.



  • @jaybate-1.0 I’m on the Garrett Bandwagon. Self loves D. Marcus seems to want what’s best for the team.



  • @Gunman

    Let’s hope wanting what’s best for the team includes bumping his FT percentage to 70%.



  • I think he will be better than Vick next year. Definitely more consistent. There was short stints where he outshined Vick this year, just needing experience.



  • Based on what else KU will have next season, I don’t think KU needs Garrett to carry the scoring load. Let him focus on his defense and become a NDPOY, or at least B12DPOY level of defender. I’m fine if never progresses beyond a 35% outside shooter as long as the defense is there.

    I think the scoring leaders next year in order will be D. Lawson, Grimes, Dotson, KJ Lawson, and then Garrett.



  • He’ll be a key guy next season, bet all of those stats improve. He could drive the ball fairly well this season.



  • We better hope that he improves considerably offensively because we don’t have the shooters to carry the load like we did this season if teams key in on KJ Lawson my bad on dedric Lawson and Quentin Grimes has a rough night the offense is going to come from somewhere preferably Marcus being the third scoring option potentially



  • It would take a lot of improvement for him to be a top 3 scoring option on next year’s team.



  • Kill me now, but I thought he slipped even on D as the season wore on. Seemed like his bbIq went down too. I love guys that play D. Can we tell if playing time went down?



  • @Crimsonorblue22 https://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/players/marcus-garrett-1/gamelog/

    His PT really didn’t go down per se, though it was kind of erratic throughout the season.



  • Didn’t get many minutes, SH, Clemson or duke game.



  • @Crimsonorblue22 Tournament Bill. For better or worse, the bench might as well not exist in March.

    7 players played against Duke total. Average minutes for starting guards against Clemson was 36.5, 36.25 against SHU.



  • Looks like next years team will not have the 3 ball as a primary weapon. At least there doesn’t seem to be as many shooters on next years team as last.

    I wonder if best way to attack a three point shooting team to stick in their pocket from across half court on D. Don’t allow any easy passes, much less shots. And on the offensive end drive the heck out of the ball aggressively into the defenders chest. Force the refs to blow the whistle and foul those suckers out.



  • I was a big Garrett fan for quite a while. But I agree with @Crimsonorblue22. His defense regressed, and I think his overall play regressed. On a team with shooters, you can be fine with a guy like Garrett. But on an offensively challenged team, with below average shooting (as this team appears to be), I think he’ll be a significant liability if he’s playing at the level he was at the end of the season. I think the jump from brick mason to competence might be harder than from competence to good (which we’ve seen here). But lots of time between now and next fall.

    I know Cunliffe is an outcast for many, but if he can shoot well, on a team without shooters, can the shooting skill be a more valuable asset than a more complete basketball player? I think so. But I just don’t know if Cunliffe even qualifies as a shooter yet.

    I could easily see the defensively challenged Joe Cremo moving past Garrett, if we land him.



  • dylans said:

    I wonder if best way to attack a three point shooting team to stick in their pocket from across half court on D. Don’t allow any easy passes, much less shots. And on the offensive end drive the heck out of the ball aggressively into the defenders chest. Force the refs to blow the whistle and foul those suckers out.


    Driving works at AFH, but not on the road, and never in the March Carney, unless one is a NIKE EST team.



  • kjayhawks said:

    He’ll be a key guy next season, bet all of those stats improve. He could drive the ball fairly well this season.


    I suspect u r right about being a key player, but remain concerned about whether the improvement in offensive productivity will come.

    So much depends on these two 5-Star guards. Teams just can’t dominate with bigs scoring 2 pt baskets at a high percentage, when the opponent has 2-3 40%ers from trey.

    And Dedrick can’t really be a dominant big at his size without a Perry Ellis grade trey to keep the defense from dense packing him. Never foul a big at the rim. Just double to deny him rim access and you win 2/3s of the time by him shooting 2s and your team shooting treys.

    The math, CENTRAL STANDARD TIME ZONE, and the zebras, are against the inside big, or the perimeter driver, scoring efficiently inside (short treys) on the road and in the Carney. Period.

    The only unfouled shot, or shot with a free throw, on the road and in the Carney for an adidas CST team is a 3pta.



  • @HighEliteMajor

    Cunliffe IS a mystery.

    Self did one of his Cryo-icings.

    Cunliffe reminds me of a perimeter equivalent of Hunter Mickelson (sp?).

    He can probably play, but only if Self can’t find one of his preferred body morphologies.

    Sometimes it appears Self is into certain body morphologies and aesthetics of one kind and not another. It’s not “the racial.” He has appeared to show this peculiarity of preference independent, of race, ethnicity, height, and national origin.

    The puzzle is why he recruits the “others”, because he almost always Cryo-Ices them.

    But it could also be a personality trait he discovers, after signing them, that does not engender his trust.

    Hard to know. But I would ask him about it over a beer, if I ever got the chance.



  • It makes me laugh that even die hard fans think Self has “seen the light” regarding shooting mostly 3s. Our team’s best shooters and players last year were SENIOE DG, SENIOR Svi, reshirt JUNIOR Newman, and JUNIOR Vick. Self isn’t reliant on the 3, he was and will always be reliant on guys he TRUSTS and those are usually upperclassmen. He will mold our offense to fit those guys he trusts. As tight as our lineup got last tournament he trusts Marcus.



  • @jaybate-1.0 Doke’s coming back Jaybate. Everyone knows he isn’t ready yet. He’s just doing this to gather info on what he needs to improve upon kind of like SVI did last season. Doke needs to work on his rebounding, work on his outside shot and free throw shooting and Im probly missing somethings that he needs to tighten up on. I dunno. but hes not ready for the pros yet.

    @Statmachine machine made a great point about Silvio that I didn’t consider. Basically if Self thought he would have been ineligible then he would have had him declare for the draft by now. Personally Im not sold on Silvio coming back either but we shall see. And, Garrett. I really think that this summer he works like mad on his shot from deep and from FT. He will get much better. I’ll bet on it.



  • BigBad said:

    It makes me laugh that even die hard fans think Self has “seen the light” regarding shooting mostly 3s. Our team’s best shooters and players last year were SENIOE DG, SENIOR Svi, reshirt JUNIOR Newman, and JUNIOR Vick. Self isn’t reliant on the 3, he was and will always be reliant on guys he TRUSTS and those are usually upperclassmen. He will mold our offense to fit those guys he trusts. As tight as our lineup got last tournament he trusts Marcus.


    Part of me wants to believe your argument, but…

    But I just can’t.

    Self had no choice last season. DG, Svi, Malik and Vick could have been ten year olds, or geriatric patients. They were the only guys he had that could walk and chew gum at a D1 level. On the perimeter, Young and Teahan did not sit because he did not trust them. They sat, because they weren’t D1 caliber rotation players. Inside he had noone that could make a basket 3 inches beyond the bucket, when the opposition was big and strong. Doke played, because his competition was Mitch Lightfoot. Heck, Self stripped a kid out of high school, DeSouza, and played him in a game, before Self could probably spell his name. He didn’t trust DeSouza in the first game against WVU. It wasn’t clear that Self even knew whether DeSouza preferred Big Macs to Quarter Pounders.

    My take on Self is that he tries to find a way to get the most talented and productive guys he has on the roster on the court at the same time. He tries schemes that enable his best players to play together. Sometimes it takes him till late in the season to find a scheme and the players that fit, and other times he figures it out before the first game.

    Trust only comes into it, when he has more talented and productive guys to choose among than he has roles in a 7-8 man rotation. If he can’t trust you to be as productive as another guy, the other guys gets the rotation slot. But by and large, Self is kind of a maniac about finding ways to get his best players on the floor and in the rotation.



  • @HighEliteMajor Maybe Garrett hit the wall but somebody will have to beat him out if it’s up to me. Cunliffe is a deer in the headlights but l respect him for hanging in there.



  • Quoting Lulufulu

    @Statmachine machine made a great point about Silvio that I didn’t consider. Basically if Self thought he would have been ineligible then he would have had him declare for the draft by now. Personally Im not sold on Silvio coming back either but we shall see. And, Garrett. I really think that this summer he works like mad on his shot from deep and from FT. He will get much better. I’ll bet on it.

    I don’t believe Silvio can declare for the draft, isn’t the rule one year past your HS class graduation? So no reason to screw up your GPA by sending him packing before school ends even if ineligible.

    Article on the other site today about Garrett working on his shot. Seems it is felt that is connected to left hand placement and he didn’t want to screw with it during the season. If he can fix that his entire game could step up a notch.



  • Kubie said:

    Quoting Lulufulu

    @Statmachine machine made a great point about Silvio that I didn’t consider. Basically if Self thought he would have been ineligible then he would have had him declare for the draft by now. Personally Im not sold on Silvio coming back either but we shall see. And, Garrett. I really think that this summer he works like mad on his shot from deep and from FT. He will get much better. I’ll bet on it.

    I don’t believe Silvio can declare for the draft, isn’t the rule one year past your HS class graduation? So no reason to screw up your GPA by sending him packing before school ends even if ineligible.

    Article on the other site today about Garrett working on his shot. Seems it is felt that is connected to left hand placement and he didn’t want to screw with it during the season. If he can fix that his entire game could step up a notch.

    I think the rule is 19 or one year past HS graduation. maybe its both anyone know?



  • @wilson All drafted players must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft. … Any player who is not an “international player”, as defined in the CBA, must be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class.



  • What I don’t understand… is If Marcus shoots less than 50% from the line, why not change his stroke in the middle of the season? Were we trying to protect his 49% average?



  • drgnslayr said:

    What I don’t understand… is If Marcus shoots less than 50% from the line, why not change his stroke in the middle of the season? Were we trying to protect his 49% average?

    :100:



  • @dylans @drgnslayr

    Maybe the coaches were afraid their heads would explode trying to change both Dok and MG. At some point, one would hope the players would actually figure out ways of improving on their own. It is, after all, the only undefended scoring opportunity in any “team vs team on the same field” sport. A baseball equivalent would be a batter tossing the ball up and hitting it without fielders.



  • @drgnslayr I think he shoots it too flat on FT and Three pointers. A flat shot makes the margin for error very small.



  • Asking the same question a different way; what will another year in the system get Garrett? Our bigs typically get much more efficient in their sophomore campaign, but I think our gaurds don’t tend to make a giant leap. Look at Svi/Devonte, in their sophomore campaigns they were awarded more minutes but stats per minute didn’t change much. Smart guard play seems to take a few years to develop.



  • I think Garrett and Doke are different. Garrett’s form is not a disaster. Doke’s form was a disaster. Doke’s FT shooting and what the coaches permit on the court is the issue. A coach should never have permitted Doke to even shoot that way. It’s still poor. Basically, you don’t play if you don’t do it the right way. Otherwise, you’re not giving him the best opportunity to succeed.

    Demand it done the way you want it done. Once he complies, it’s on him to execute.

    Garrett, though, isn’t a fundamental disaster. Just like his outside shot isn’t a fundamental disaster. The shot plane (arc) is a great point made by @Barney. Stress, like a defender in his face, or with a hand up, on an outside shot can cause the arc to flatten. Guys rush, or tighten up, and revert to old form. But on the free throw line, that should not be a non-issue. I don’t see why that arc issue on the free throws couldn’t be addressed (demanded) in-season.



  • @BucknellJayhawk3

    Guards can improve… especially if they really go after improvement.

    Tyshawn Taylor improved dramatically between his junior and senior years. He went down to Houston and hooked up with John Lucas.

    The word was Lucas would help him on his trey shot. And he did improve dramatically.

    Where TT improved most was on how to finish at the rim. For his first 3 years he would always go way too hard to the rim, which limited his ability to adjust, making his finishes very very predictable.

    Lucas taught him how to slow down on his finishes and then he was able to either adjust to the defender or just figure out the most efficient finish. Lucas was (easily) the very best small guard that could finish on any big in the paint. I watched his entire career and I loved it when he got inside and finished on guys a foot taller than him.

    All of those improvements ended up being just what the NBA doctor ordered… because it was enough to get him in the NBA. Is he still there? I don’t think so, but maybe others in here know.



  • I was reading Garrett’s uncle is working with him on his shot before reporting back to KU. 1,000 makes a day, ambitious, driven and the type of stuff you like to see. They know what they need to work on and the goal will be making it muscle memory. Got to love a kid willing to put in the work.



  • Reality is that when you change a player’s form, the numbers go way down before they get better, so performance goes down in the short run even when in the long run the results can be considerably better. This is why when athletes change form they usually do it in the off-season so the initial decrease in performance is not important and by the new season comes along they are already on the upward trend; when implemented in the middle of the season, athletes tend to revert o their level of comfort and use the old form with even worse results… Obviously I am not talking about minor tweaks but radical changes like it will take to change Doke’s FT form. In Garret’s case, I take it the staff decided that since he was not a primary scorer it would serve the team better to improve his defense and postpone improving his shooting form until the off-season.



  • BeddieKU23 said:

    I was reading Garrett’s uncle is working with him on his shot before reporting back to KU. 1,000 makes a day, ambitious, driven and the type of stuff you like to see. They know what they need to work on and the goal will be making it muscle memory. Got to love a kid willing to put in the work.

    Awesome to hear. I don’t think putting forth the work and effort will be an issue with Garrett.



  • BShark said:

    BeddieKU23 said:

    I was reading Garrett’s uncle is working with him on his shot before reporting back to KU. 1,000 makes a day, ambitious, driven and the type of stuff you like to see. They know what they need to work on and the goal will be making it muscle memory. Got to love a kid willing to put in the work.

    Awesome to hear. I don’t think putting forth the work and effort will be an issue with Garrett.

    Absolutely. With his freshman year out the way there should be room for growth with Garrett. We know he’s going to put in the effort.

    In a normal year he probably doesn’t play much as a freshman but this wasn’t a typical year for depth. He got a crazy amount of experience that’s going to be vital for the team and for his own development.



  • @jaybate-1.0

    quick question for everyone. What was SVI’s percentages at KU as a freshman?
    I seem to remember he had troubles at the start.
    Im confident that Marcus can improve enough in this off season to keep defenders from sagging or helping off him.
    He’s no SVI and im not claiming he will be either. But, to my untrained eye, his shot doesn’t look terrible, it just doesn’t go in. If the kid really puts up 2500 shots a day or more. Yah he should see some marked improvement.

    PS. im not sold on Doke being gone. He isn’t on any draft boards that Ive seen and neither Tait or Newell or Keegan seem to think he’s gone. Silvio?? Not so sure about him yet. I hope he can stay. We’ll need him but we still should have a deep enough front court without him next season



  • @Lulufulu

    Svi started out considered a good outside shooter and was tried at point guard/2 guard and didn’t have quick enough feet to guard anyone. He also didn’t make many treys. His first off season, Hudy bulked him up and he lost most of his quickness and coordination. His shot went completely to hell, as he lost confidence. He was retooled into a 3-4 swing man; then Perry Ellis showed the stretch 4 could be played when relatively undersized, especially with small hands and without super quick feet in the 4-1 set, Self seemed to fully commit to preparing Svi to be that smallish stretch 4 that Svi finally blossomed into his last season.

    But here is the thing: Svi could make free throws from the beginning, and before he came to America and got being too slow footed and too weak to play the point in America, he had had a rep as a fine outside shooter in Eurasia Ball. So: the inference is that Svi was a good natural shooter that ran into a lot of retooling issues and change of position issues that derailed him as a shooter, for a couple years while he got stronger and learned a new position. Marcus Garrett has shown no signs of being a good natural shooter, so far. Poor FT shooting and poor FG shooting leave us with little reasonable optimism that he will become much more than a 35% FG shooter and 65% FT shooter. Hence, my concerns about him as a starter on a team that has lost all of its outside fire power and replaced it with nothing sterling from trey ville.



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