We've been here before, but after last year, it feels different.

  • @wrwlumpy Last year was fantasy- this year it’s for real.

  • Doke’s health is the single most important factor in how good this KU team will be.

    With Doke last year, KU beat Michigan St., Marquette, and Tennessee. I don’t know if KU wins a title if Doke stays healthy, but they probably win the B12 last season and have a very good shit at another Final Four. KU did reach the Final Four with Doke playing the entire season the year before.

    Doke is a unique talent that I believe is the most valuable player on any major conference team in the country. We’ve seen what this team is with and without Doke for 3 years.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 - nothing like having a “good sh*t” at another FF! 🤣

    However, the difference this year is that KU has decent backup’s in SDS and Mac. Given enough game experience, they might hold down the back court. Also, quite a few 6’8”+ guys to help out.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I agree… we are such a different (better) team with Doke in the lineup. That proves out in all the statistics from last year, breaking it down game-by-game.

    But I also see this year’s team being so much more than Doke.

    1. Gone are the often missing games of Vick and Q. And the drama won’t be missed either.

    2. Devon’s role will change considerably into being a forceful playmaker.

    3. Better depth in the post, including options to run two bigs most of the year. SDS and Mac should contribute in a large way. How will any team in the country stop our two-big lineup in the post? I expect us to get most of our opposing bigs in foul trouble. How do they stay out of foul trouble and defend anything?

    4. Mystery help from our new guys. Moss, without question, should be a very solid contributor. As far as the freshmen go, it’s likely they will contribute positively.

    I’m so anxious to see what Self does with this group. There are so many possibilities, including some uber dynamic small lineups.

    As excited as many are about anticipating some of our offensive potential, I’m most excited about our defensive potential. Adding Harris is just one more step into a future of solid defense. He may not get many minutes this year, but if he turns out to be the defender many boast about, we can expect some great defense now and in the future. Defense starts at the point. If you defend the point well, it makes a huge impact on overall defense.

    I rarely fall for the early season #1 ranking tease. In fact, not sure I’ve ever appreciated it in the least. Though I do think this team has the chance to earn the #1 cred, if everyone stays healthy, focused and works their tails off. This should be one of Self’s funner teams to coach.

  • @Gorilla72 Without Doke, KU doesn’t have a proven low post scorer. Silvio and McCormack are both much better rebounders than scorers at this point.

    Doke and Dotson are the two players that make KU a Final Four caliber team this year. Take either player off this KU team, and KU is a Sweet 16 team at best.

  • The experience difference from last year will be one of the big differences. We were playing 4 freshmen at the same time for long stretches last year. I expect to see a huge experience difference from last year, which I think is one of the most important aspects of long tournament runs. You’ve got Doke, Dotson, and Silvio on a mission this year. You’ve got Agbaji and Big Dave breaking out. You’ve got an experienced Moss added to the equation. You’ve got a defensive whiz in Marcus, who can flat lock players down. Great group of selfless guys that put team first. I have a good feeling this team will playing for big stakes.

  • @drgnslayr

    1. Moss doesn’t appear to be the locker room cancer Vick was, but on the court, he’s the same mold as Vick. Moss is a streaky shooter so there will be multiple game stretches where he’s a combined 2-11, 3-14 in that area like Vick.

    As far as replacing Grimes, that comes down to the health of Garrett and Agbaji. Garrett still hasn’t fully recovered from his high ankle sprain. Agbaji’s legs are also a big question because if his issues are chronic and he loses his athleticism, he’s only a marginally better player than Grimes.

    1. I agree that Dotson needs to be a better playmaker, but I think we’ll see that happen as a natural part of his development. I personally want to see him not pass up his open 3’s. Even with Moss, I think Dotson is the best shooter among the rotation players next season and I want to see him let it fly more frequently.

    2. I agree and disagree on post depth. I agree that we likely won’t see Self switch between a lone post and two post line up, but I do have reservations about the scoring ability from the post beyond Doke. We don’t know where Silvio’s game is and what his range is. Can he stretch the floor if needed and hit 3’s or mid range shots with any consistency, or is his range limited and he’s a garbage man on offense?

    Pretty much same deal with McCormack, how much has his game progressed? For his size, McCormack was a terrible rebounder last year. Has he gotten any better or is he going to get exposed with more minutes?

    If Mitch redshirts, can anyone provide quality back up minutes at the 4?

    1. I genuinely don’t see the freshmen having much of an impact this year. This was a weak recruiting class and three of KU’s recruits in a stronger year would only be 3 star players. I can easily see Self not redshirt Mitch and go with an 8 man rotation with Garrett, Mitch, and Dave as the subs and the freshmen getting scrap minutes.

    This group no doubt has the potential to win a title, but there’s also a lot of questions that need to be answered before KU is a legit threat.

  • @KUSTEVE It’s not the experience jump you think it is this year.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I know. You’ve said that before.

  • @KUSTEVE I think you’re going to be disappointed that this team doesn’t hit the ground running. There is going to be an adjustment period and I don’t think everyone is going to make the gains you think they will.

    This team will still face a lot of the same issues they faced last year on offense. There may very well be a couple of positions KU takes a step back this year, the 4 spot being the main one. Silvio DeSousa is not going to be a better player than Dedric Lawson was. Silvio is more athletic, but that’s about it. If he doesn’t have the range to keep Doke from being doubled, there’s going to be times where the offense goes stagnant.

    Speaking of Doke, he has to hope his FT shooting is north of 50%, otherwise he’s a liability on offense in close games.

    Same thing with Isaiah Moss at the 3. The upgrade there is off the court far more than on the court. He’s going to be the 4th or 5th scoring option when he’s on the floor. Because he’s a streaky shooter, there’s going to be games when he’s hurting the offense because he’s in a cold spell.

    This team also has no depth at PG behind Dotson. If push came to shove, Marcus Garrett would probably be the back up PG. McBride and Harris are total question marks about what they can do as lower ranked guys running point for a national title contender. There’s a very good possibility that neither player is ready for meaningful minutes which means KU is one play away from being in rely rough shape.

    The ceiling of this team is very high, but there’s also some very real flaws with this team that can easily keep them from coming close to that ceiling.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 We’re not going to be tested until the game with Sparty. And i think we’ll beat the crap out of them on the boards. Is that enough to win? If we can make Cassius shoot like he did against us last year, it sure might. I’m also not worried about Dook in the least. The Nova game could be the game where your words ring true. Road game against a Top 5 team, a team that will play 4 out, and spread the court, with a national championship coach. That’s going to be tough. Not impossible, though. So…best case…undefeated going into conference… worst case…2 losses to 2 Top 5 teams going into conference. I can live with either result.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Oh, come on, these days (with early departures) this is the most talent and experience most teams have had in a decade! We’ll have at least four guys starting from day one that know each other well.

    We could ride Doke, Silvio and Dotson and a handful of hard working scrubs to the final four. And instead of a handful of scrubs we’ve got Ben the Wild Giant, Prison Mitch, Cool Hands Garrett, MJ 2.O-baji, Euro Slayer Enaruna, a Chicago Sharpshooter Moss … then the young’uns who would probably start on most DI teams.

    Don’t kill my buzz! We’re loaded.

  • Also… no Memphis drama

  • Man, the Silvio lowball is strong with some here. Hope he proves them all wrong.

  • We haven’t seen Silvio play in what, 10 years? I’m hoping he’s added to his arsenal and gives Doke a run for his money in the post…and further out.

  • We all have seen over the years that Bill Self coaches teams tend to not start the year off fast. Hence you do not have to be a prophet to deduce this years teams will most likely follow the same trajectory. The experience actually, historically, has proven to be a huge difference. Again, anyone who has watched Bill Self coached teams knows that his best teams are ones that are older and more experienced. This is the case throughout college basketball.

    I think on Silvio people tend to forget how good he was once he started figuring things out in the Big 12 tournament and on through March. And that was being just a couple months removed from high school right in the thick of conference play.

    As others have said, Doke is the key and always has been since his freshman year with the infamous Oregon fiasco. I’ll always believe a healthy Doke gets us a final four in 2017.

    What’s not to like about this year? Better shooting, quality depth, more experience and our most impactful players back from last year. Things could be a lot worse.

  • @DanR The potential is there, but there’s a lot of legitimate question marks about this team as well. How healthy will Doke, Agbaji, and Garrett be this year? Doke has missed most of two years and played injured his sophomore year.

    Silvio DeSousa played less than 200 minutes his freshman year. How much has his offense progressed? Does he enough range to spread the floor any?

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Silvio only needs to spread the floor about 8 feet to free up Doke. Looked capable in the scrimmages and he was a solid free throw shooter. I’d rather he put back misses rather than take three pointers. I know there’s always a chance some team makes 65% of their threes to beat us, but we’ve got a stable full of horses to outrun and dunk them to oblivion if Bill will let them. Or, grind them into the dirt.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 Now, whether or not Doke breaks his third hand is still a concern.

  • I most anxious to see Silvio play!💪🏽

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Excellent post on Devil’s advocacy…

    I know we can add up past PT minutes of Doke and Silvio… not a big number. But I do count the total time they’ve been Jayhawks. You are right to think the extra time doesn’t match real PT but to discount it is a mistake, too. And let’s not forget these kids age in human years. Without anything else, just getting a year older while they are sitting on the fence entering manhood is a big deal.

    I think you will end up being pleasantly surprised about Moss. He’s a quality, skillful, smooth scorer. I’d take him any day over Vick. Vick ended his career living on the trey line. Very limited scorer, even though he started the year hot. Part of what made him such a variable was his scoring limitation. When he was guarded well on the perimeter, he was done. It won’t be that way with Moss. And he’s much better in the open floor, too. And comparing him to Q at the two… there is no comparison. Q was a disaster. Felt like we played most of the year 4 on 5. Hate to bash him… but the reality speaks for itself. Most of his game stats he should have had even playing blindfolded. He was consistently horrible all year, except a few games.

    I look at Silvio, Mac and Doke as our three big men (thinking Mitch is a RS). I see it as 3 guys filling 2 spots. In our case the 4 and 5 are almost interchangeable, except Doke will need to be the 5 when in games.

    I’ve heard nothing but great things about Silvio, and the players around him are biting at the bit to play with him in games. He’s like a man playing in a boy’s league.

    We watched Mac settle in last year, including improving his rebounding substantially as he received move experience. He was just a nervous mass on the court when he started. The game began to slow down for him and I find it hard to believe he won’t start where he left off or even be better.

    Doke on the FT line… now that is a total gamble and until I see it, I will not put my neck on the line on that one. My hope is that since we have a more threatening front line, we will draw more fouls in the post anyways and teams won’t have enough fouls to give to play “poke a Doke.” I see “poke a Doke” as a possibility only in the last minute or so. Still… time to coach like the NBA and push/pull guys in and out every possession at the end. Not sure why college coaches don’t think a bit more like NBA coaches. Still can’t get them to think about 2 for 1 possessions at the end, etc etc etc. Hedging defenses… ha… forgetaboutit!

    I will put my neck on the line about expecting greatness from Devon. He will make everyone look a lot better because he will be learning the role of playmaker… and Devon should become unstoppable at accomplishing that!

    You gave many examples of what can go wrong, and no doubt, we will have some of that happen. I’m not predicting a Calipari “perfect season.” Things do tend to go wrong at some point. I’m just excited for Jayhawk basketball and I’m liking this team immensely!

    Rock Chalk!

  • @drgnslayr I have not seen Moss play, how does he compare to B-Rush?

  • Fightsongwriter said:

    @drgnslayr I have not seen Moss play, how does he compare to B-Rush?

    Nobody compares to B-Rush but B-Rush. He was one of a kind!!! I’m pretty biased though…regardless of what took place in the NBA…and speaking only of the time in a Jayhawk uniform…B-Rush is (in my opinion) the best player to suit up in the Bill Self era.

  • @Fightsongwriter Rush was a wing- Moss is a guard, so they don’t play the same position. That said, you would never mistake Moss for Rush. Rush was a cut above.

  • @Fightsongwriter

    Interesting comparison. I’m thinking BRush had more size, and he used his size well. Both are very smooth scorers. Both have respectable handles. I think BRush may be a better defender. BRush battled injuries while at KU, which actually helped us to get him to stay for our championship season.

    I’m hoping Moss may become more aggressive driving the ball over BRush, but I have nothing to base that on… hope.

    Not sure if we will be able to make completely fair comparisons because the players around them are so different, and Self has added so many twists to his hi-lo, making it more a hybrid motion offense. That should favor Moss.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    I actually have the opposite opinion than you. I expect this team to start very fast. Our early opponents will likely be overwhelmed by the Doke/Silvio combo inside. That will cover up some of the roster issues early in the year. Skipping the Duke game for a second (I’ll get back to them), the next four opponents are UNC-Greensboro, Monmouth, East Tennessee State and Chaminade. Then we get either a rebuilding UCLA team or an okay BYU squad. Then it’s Colorado, UMKC, UW-Milwaukee, Villanova and Stanford. Duke and Michigan State are the only two squads we really have to worry about there. Everyone else probably gets run off the floor by our size.

    So back to Duke. I actually think we even handle Duke with our size. They are depending on two freshmen inside in Carey and Hurt that don’t have nearly the size and strength that Doke/Silvio have. If KU doesn’t get into foul trouble, we probably bully Duke off the floor, too. They have some really good players, but nothing like this year where they had so much individual talent that they could just blow a team off the court. Carey and Hurt will be up against grown men in the paint for the first time in their lives.

    But come conference season, I think things could shift if we cannot find some consistent perimeter scoring. Not one of the players that we have on the roster has been a consistent perimeter scorer in their college careers. Maybe we can get by doing it by committee, but that’s hoping that one of the group has it going every night so teams cannot just pack the paint.

    Once teams start adjusting to our size/strength advantage, we have to have a counter. That’s what I will be waiting to see. That’s what gives me pause.

  • @justanotherfan don’t forget about Dave!

  • I really want to see Silvio slap HURT around🤕, that’s his dumb headband he had on at one of the all star games. I’m pretty violent.😇

  • I could see Silvio giving Hurt a wedgie, and hanging him by the rim. But nothing beats what @FarmerJayhawk said in the Duke thread. I still say that it’s the perfect post.

  • rockchalkwyo said:

    I could see Silvio giving Hurt a wedgie, and hanging him by the rim. But nothing beats what @FarmerJayhawk said in the Duke thread. I still say that it’s the perfect post.

    Thank you for your kind words!

  • @FarmerJayhawk did you say kind words about duke?🤣

  • Crimsonorblue22 said:

    @FarmerJayhawk did you say kind words about duke?🤣

    If I did please call the nearest psychiatric hospital immediately.

  • I couldn’t find those words🥽

  • I keep saying this… and it deserves repeating. D1 this coming year is not prepared for Silvio! He has unbelievable strength and that was barely seen in the short time we had him on the court. He’s only gotten stronger (thanks Andrea!) and he has never played “open throttle basketball” in a Jayhawk uniform. What we really need to hear from is the rest of our players… their comments on Silvio’s strength. Duke bigs are going to look like boys… because they will be boys.

    We all know that Doke is an original weapon that few teams can stand up to. Silvio will be another original weapon opposing players won’t be able to handle. Mac will be a huge help, too!

    Let’s just hope our backcourt will come together nicely to make us a more complete team! I feel plenty of confidence, and it has been a long time since I’ve been this confident of our upcoming team during tomato season!

  • @justanotherfan Teams are going to pack the paint against KU because like last season, KU doesn’t have a lot of proven outside shooting. Moss is not a dead eye shooter so there will be nights where KU struggles from the outside and go through significant scoring droughts.

    This team will be very similar offensively to last season before Doke’s injury and that team didn’t blow bad teams out of the water. They had a lot of scoring droughts and this team will as well.

  • @justanotherfan Moss 42%. Dotson 36%. Agbaji - 30%. I don’t see a problem with our perimeter. No way Agbaji shoots less than 35% from 3.


    Moss is very streaky. He shot 42% from three, but he did that in a very streaky way. A sample:

    Opens the season by going a combined 1-9 from the field in games against UMKC and Green Bay. Hits 7-12 threes in his next three games versus Oregon, UConn and Alabama State.

    He followed that three game stretch up with a combined 1-8 from the field against Pitt and Wisconsin, then dropped an efficient 13 (4-8, 2-3) against Michigan State and a 20 piece (8-12, 4-5) in a rivalry game against Iowa State in back to back games.

    A week after that Iowa State game he went 1-4 against Northern Iowa.

    Or take this five game swing during conference play:

    21 vs. Illinois on 7-12 shooting, including 5 threes

    2 points against Michigan State on 1-7 shooting

    23 at Minnesota on 8-14 shooting with 6 threes

    Back to back goose eggs at Indiana and at home against Michigan on a combined 0-11 shooting.

    Of course he would follow that up with 16 against Northwestern (6-12) and 17 against Rutgers (7-12).

    My point is that Moss can score for sure. But he can also disappear.

  • @justanotherfan He was hurt the first 7 or 8 games of last year, and played sparingly, and his shooting suffered. No doubt he’s had his erratic moments, but he isn’t the only shooter we have.

  • @KUSTEVE yeah I don’t get what some are getting at - are they saying we couldn’t use a guy who shot 50% during conference play?? Even if he is streaky, I’d take it every day.

  • @HawkChamp I could be wrong on that. I’ll calculate it tonight, and give you an update. But as I recall, he shot much better after he started playing more minutes.

  • People keep saying how teams will pack it in the paint this year, which MAY happen but I think it’s pretty overblown. I don’t think there’s any way we are as bad of a shooting as last year. I don’t predict that will happen at all and that circumstance occurring is the only way teams will pack it in. I understand the concern but at this juncture in time it’s pretty unfounded.

  • @KUSTEVE None of those players are consistent shooters, they’re all streaky shooters like Lagerald Vick and Elijah Johnson. Moss is a player that can hit 5/6 in a game and then make 2 total 3’s during the next 3 games. That’s what his career has been and there’s no reason to think that’ll change this year. Agbaji is also a streaky shooter and I don’t expect him to be much better than 35% this season and that’s if he’s healthy all year. Dotson is the only one with potential, he last year he was too scared to pull the trigger on a lot of open 3’s. This is going to be a marginally better shooting team that last year.

    I kept saying last summer this was going to be a team that struggled to score because of a lack of outside shooting. I got crapped on by a lot of people for that position and when the season started and KU was a bad shooting team that went through a lot of scoring droughts, a lot of people were shocked even though I’d been saying it for months that it would happen. This season isn’t going to be much different in that area.

    There’s only going to be 2 new players in KU’s rotation this year, Moss and Silvio. This is strictly on court, but Moss isn’t an upgrade over Vick. He’s a push at best. Off the court, obviously there’s no comparison as Vick was probably the second biggest locker room cancer of a play Self has had after CJ Henry. Silvio is a down grade from Dedric on the offensive end of the floor. Silvio is a better rebounder than Dedric, but Dedric was far superior to Silvio in regards to scoring. Experience is the reason for that, but that’s reality. On defense, it remains to be seen what kind of development Silvio has made. Until proven otherwise, I would consider Silvio a down grade from Lawson.

    As for replacing Grimes, it really comes down to whether or not Agbaji’s shin issues are chronic or not. I suspect it will still be an issue because Agbaji is still growing and maturing physically, he may end up similar to Wayne Selden and have to modify his game to account for leg issues.

    With Marcus Garrett, a two post player system is the worst fit for his offensive game. His best work came right after the Doke injury and KU was running the 4 guard offense again and Garrett had room to drive. A two post player offense takes that element of Garrett away which is where his value on offense comes from if he’s not running point. I think Garrett ends up being the back up point once the rotation is finalized.

    This is why I keep harping on Silvio having to have a consistent mid range or outside shot. If Silvio doesn’t have a consistent mid range or outside shot, the offense will take a step back this year because teams are going to pack the paint and force KU to beat them from deep just like last year. I fully expect teams to pack the paint, sit in the passing lanes, and take away the drive which hurts Dotson, Agbaji, and Garrett because driving is the biggest strength offensively for each of those players.

    KU shot 35% from 3 last year, I genuinely don’t expect much improvement this year, if any. I’m calling it now, KU is going to play bully ball which is going to result in a lot of lower scoring games for KU this year.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 no, at the end of the year Dedric was turning into a detriment on the offensive end of the floor, needed a ton of shots to get twenty points and was shooting a low percentage from three. Apparently you missed how good Silvio was in the March run in 2018 and how quickly he progressed after just joining the team. He was great against Konate in the championship game and held his own against Bagley and Carter and was key in the final four run. I’ll take the potential I saw in Silvio, his on court results and assumed improvements over what we saw out of Dedric at the end of the year.

  • @HawkChamp oh the slander! We needed Dedric, he was one of the only guys on the team last year that could create for himself and others. Remove him and all else stays the same and KU likely missed the tournament.

  • @BShark I know that, I’m mostly referring to how I would prefer a player like Silvio over Dedric. Even in his short time playing, Silvio made several plays, like the half court ally oop against Clemson or the alley oop to end the first half against West Virginia that Dedric could never make. Silvio has more potential, more strength, more athleticism and more efficiency, hence my reply to why Silvio is a better option imo.

  • @HawkChamp I didn’t miss it, I just don’t overhype his performance because of one good game. His limited minutes are getting overhyped the way Cole Aldrich as a freshmen frequently gets overhyped because of what Cole did against UNC. Silvio has a lot of potential, but until he shows he can do that consistently with extended minutes, it’s still just potential for Silvio. He won’t be what he was against WVU in the B12 tournament every game. That was an A+ game and you get A+ every game. Most games you get a C and Silvio’s C game this year is probably lower than Dedric’s C game was last season at least on offense.

    Silvio played more than 15 minutes 3 times and only reached double digits in points two times. Most of his offense was limited to put backs off of misses or teams doubling Doke off of him.

    The reason Dedric became less efficient as the year went on was because he was the sole focus of the offense after Doke’s injury. When you put have one guy who’s not afraid to take a shot, his numbers were going to get worse as the year went because he was wearing down because he didn’t have any help.

    Don’t forget that in the NCAA Tournament, Silvio played 10, 4, 13, 26, and 10 minutes in those games. He didn’t exactly follow up that WVU game with more great games.

    His NCAA performance is why I’m pumping the brakes on the Silvio hype train. Do not forget that in his 22 games, Silvio played a grand total of 175 minutes.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10 I know all that, I watched every game and have watched replays. Similarly, you should not forget that he was what, two months removed from high school? To do what he did in that short amount of time is a testament to his potential and learning capability.

    My position remains the same - we will be a better team at the end of the year with a long, strong and athletic player like Silvio over a player like Dedric. Don’t get me wrong, I like Dedric as a player but he doesn’t raise the ceiling of a team to the extent that Silvio does.

  • @HawkChamp Your key term is potential. I will not argue about the higher ceiling because Silvio absolutely has the higher ceiling. KU is not getting a 4th year Silvio with a refined game. They’re getting a Silvio with less than 200 of game time that’s likely still very raw offensively. That consistency is why I’d rather take a 4th year Dedric over the version of Silvio we’ll get this year that will likely still struggle with consistency.

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