March: Post-Season News Headlines Digest

  • Also see the Final News Digest for March 24, as well as the Final Daily Threads for, March 24

    This is the way I prefer to remember the team:


    ##KU guard Selden returning for sophomore season##

    Wayne Selden Jr. was tired of being the talk of speculation. On Tuesday morning, the Kansas freshman guard contacted Kansas coach Bill Self to tell him he was ready to announce he was returning for his sophomore season at KU.

    ###Grantland: Does Andrew Wiggins Want to Get Rich or Get Better?###

    Look at it logically. Parker and Wiggins can get paid next year, sure, but they’ll be on crummy teams with no one to teach them how to be a man. No Coach K, no Bill Self. Nobody to teach them how to lead. Their games are incomplete now, but in the NBA, they’ll be playing an 82-game schedule and they’ll have more plane flights than practices. With no time to work, chances are that the holes in their game will stick with ’em for years. As their careers progress, there are some skills they just won’t have, and it’ll cost ’em come contract time. Or if not contracts, maybe it’ll cost ’em championships. It all ends up looking like the marshmallow test for a bunch of 19-year-old superstars.

    ###The Price of Hoop Dreams: Keeping Wiggins in Perspective and Closing Thoughts###

    It’s the day after and the loss still hurts but the guy I feel for the most is Andrew Wiggins. I’m not sure if people read his post game interview but it was kind of the saddest thing ever, to hear the way he shouldered the entirety of the blame for the loss. “I didn’t bring anything to the table.” He spoke with the kind of self awareness that only a 19 year old phenom living in an unprecedented digital age of critique and analysis could have. The only thing sadder is that you can average nearly 18 points a game, as a freshman on the undisputed best team, playing in arguably the best conference in the country, and walk away still being considered a borderline bust. 30 years ago freshmen were lucky to smell the court. Today, our hopes and dreams are placed squarely on their backs.

    Thanks for the amazing memories, Andrew Wiggins


    ###‘What if … ‘: Jayhawks ponder what could have been###

    Kansas University freshman center Joel Embiid took to Twitter on Monday to express his feelings about the 2014 NCAA Tournament. “WHAT IF…???” the 7-footer from Cameroon wrote.

    ###RockChalkBlog: Looking ahead at the 2014-2015 Jayhawks###

    Yes, the season just ended on Sunday and yes, this is probably too early to look ahead to next season. But there’s not much else to talk about.

    ####Kansas’ loss a missed opportunity that had season-long roots#### An opportunity gone forever is a locker room full of friends trying to make sense of it all.

    They are mostly silent. When they speak, their voices are hushed. Stunned. Maybe the anger will come later. Maybe the answers will come later.

    #####FOX Sports: Did Andrew Wiggins blow his shot at being the top draft pick?##### How much can you judge a 19-year-old by a single game? When the NBA Draft goes down in June, we may find out.

  • The Fox Sports article is laughable.

    Anyone here knows that the game Sunday had nothing to do with Wiggins failing.

    Stanford’s zone didn’t allow him to breath.

    And there was no scheme to permit him to breath.

  • Looks like a lot of writers have lot of time available and write…well, just write without really thinking.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I agree… that article was a joke.

    They took things out of context. Like…

    “Bill Self’s biggest frustration w Wiggins is lack of aggressiveness. Says he always leaves you wanting more, even when playing well.”

    Self went into detail about his comment here. He explained in detail that it wasn’t about Andrew not putting out effort or aggressiveness… it was about Andrew showing incredible talent on certain plays and it just makes us want to see it more and what else he can do.

    Stanford’s zone did smoother him… but that wasn’t the first zone we faced all year and they were not talented, period.

    Self took the day off. He didn’t prepare his troops for battle. He threw them out there and made them fight for themselves. And when we were clearly failing (from the tip off), he didn’t use a time out to shift offense to attack the zone. He just sat back and watched.

    This is his loss alone. He owes this team an apology… along with the thousands of fans.

    He didn’t want another NC… at least, not bad enough to put up a fight.

    His coaching was down right pathetic!

    I don’t know if he will ever get hungry again. He’s never been as hungry since '08. '12 was shear heart of a team that was there for TRob and his loss.

    I still am a big Bill Self fan… but he needs to get his s#it together. He isn’t doing Kansas right by his efforts at this moment. He has the B12 figured out, and he should be able to continue to win it and extend his record… but on the national stage it takes a tougher fight in March. I don’t think he has it in him to make the right sacrifices.

    I wish he would get his own swagger back. His teams don’t have swagger because he doesn’t have swagger. A team full of juco players 180 miles south of him had plenty of swagger, but our all-americans didn’t. That’s pathetic, and it points to the head.

    I don’t like to be a nagger… and I’m not a bad sport or just having an anger moment. I’ve already moved on from this loss… but I’m looking back at what I saw with clear eyes.

    I want us to keep Bill at Kansas, but I want his batteries and focus re-energized. This has nothing to do with starting a bunch of freshmen. We started a a bunch of 5-yr seniors the year before and we flopped, too. That was the year we should have won.

    It is hard to get to this level and then not come ready to play the game. This dysfunction is killing all of us!

    It isn’t about winning or losing… though there will be less losses if we come ready. I just can’t handle watching us fight all year and come down to a March game where our guys weren’t ready for the big stage. It discredits our entire program and it is flat out embarrassing. Even the Shockers make us look bad and downright stupid. Putting those two games side-by-side clearly illustrates the dysfunction we have!

    How many times do we have to go through this in March? No problem if we lose, as long as we fight our hardest, and shift our game as needed… Teams are going to show up and make miracle shots and we will lose some. That’s okay. But dropping a big dump in front of the entire world, not adjusting to the game, players all holding their knees on stops after just 11 minutes of basketball… what is going on?

    We are better than this…

  • @drgnslayr

    Maybe you and Hem should apply for the HC job at KU; you certainly feel that Coach Self did not do a good enough job and you can do it better.

    If you are a “big Bill Self fan” I wonder how people that are not fans feel like. Any objective reader that reads you post would certainly not consider you a “big Bill Self fan.”

    Nothing personal Slayer, and no malice involved; however, you cannot have it both ways. You cannot be a fan and write the post you did. I am not saying that you should not criticize or hold Coach Self faultless, but you did not bring out a single positive thing about Coach Self and basically stated that he has not had his team ready since 2008. If you feel this way, you should be asking him to step down. You cannot be a fan of a coach you feel no longer does anything right…you did say his coaching was pathetic.

    I don’t mean to come across as being rude and if i do, I apologize. However, I get so tired of some posters constantly second guessing Coach Self without really knowing what goes on behind close doors or having the information he does.

    Again, nothing personal but on this issue we will have to agree to disagree…big time.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I emailed mellinger a note asking if could be any harsher, he replied that yes he could. So nice to read “the price of hoop dreams”!

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    You are right… I don’t know what goes behind close doors… but we all see what we see on the court.

    If I wasn’t a big Self fan I’d want him fired.

    This sort of feels like when someone in your own family does something bad and family members have to step up and address it.

    No doubt, my comments were harsh on Self. I know my standards are probably different from many in here. I have already read a lot worse comments than mine concerning Self. Many I found to be over the top. I’m just giving him a good kick in the nutsack. I think he has earned it.

    No one is above scrutiny. Just because I’m a big Self fan it doesn’t mean I’ll cut him more slack than he deserves. Like I said… I want him to stay at Kansas.

    In so many areas he has been a great coach… and when I say that I mean great the entire time he has been in Lawrence. I consider calling him the greatest to ever be at Kansas… then on second thought, I don’t think that is good energy for people to lay on him. I’m starting to wonder if he lacks enough humility. Humility is a big part of motivation to improve… something I haven’t been sold on for a few years.

    But this one area… I feel like it should be addressed and I wouldn’t go on just any website and post this. I post it on OUR website because we all are inside the Jayhawk Nation, and I think I’ve earned my straight say on about anything concerning this team.

    This is only my opinion… I’m not trying to say it is fact or facts.

    I think it does us all good to express what we feel. If we hold it in, we’ll all be the worse for it, including our personal health.

    I’d like nothing more than to experience Bill Self addressing the issue I threw out there. If he doesn’t think he can improve as a coach, he’s already lost the battle of being one of the best. Wooden, Izzo, Coach K… they all can improve. I bet if I was a Duke fan I would have some words for Coach K… mostly, that it is time for him to retire! He looks 3/4s dead sitting on the sidelines.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve posted this material. I think I did it last year and several years (not including 2012).

    It is hard to be critical on this. I wish I could sweep it under the rug. But that wouldn’t be fair to myself… or to people in here that expect me to say exactly what is on my mind (regardless if it is unpopular)… or to Coach Self. We shouldn’t allow him to be the Emperor without clothes.

    Self has already mentioned he was expecting criticism.

    Doesn’t he deserve for people to say what they really feel? I think he deserves that respect, even if some of it is unpleasant!

    BTW: I appreciate it, but you are not rude! You should challenge me just like I should challenge Coach Self! I’m glad we are all respectful enough to not use name calling… but challenge me all you want! I’d rather hear what you really feel. It actually shows respect to say it straight! Don’t leave me without clothes! I still miss iowajayhawk… he used to kick me in the rump and I respected him for it!

  • @drgnslayr I’m checking the mirror to see if I look 3/4’s dead!!!

  • @JayHawkFanToo You may get tired of second guessing, I get that. But I’m interested in why you think the second guessing is wrong?

    I wish I could sit back like I did in 2012 and watch coach Self do everything possible to get the maximum out of his team. But this year he did not.

    -Should he have benched Tharpe?

    -Is our zone offense deficient?

    -Does he minimize the importance of three point shooting in his scheme?

    -Against Stanford, should he have at least tried moving Wiggins to the high post as Greg Anthony mentioned?

    And did all or some of the above significantly contribute to our premature exit from the tournament?

    I believe I’m right. But it’s just an opinion. I’ve believed I’m right before, then been proven wrong (mainly by @jaybate) – and I’m happy to reconsider my analysis.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    @JayHawkFanToo You may get tired of second guessing, I get that. But I’m interested in why you think the second guessing is wrong?

    I wish I could sit back like I did in 2012 and watch coach Self do everything possible to get the maximum out of his team. But this year he did not.

    -Should he have benched Tharpe?

    -Is our zone offense deficient?

    -Does he minimize the importance of three point shooting in his scheme?

    -Against Stanford, should he have at least tried moving Wiggins to the high post as Greg Anthony mentioned?

    If I may, let me take a stab at these:


    No. Even if this team wasn’t good at executing it, I can point back to the 06 - 2013 teams as never really having struggled with zone defenses in general the way this team did. Nearly every one of our losses was at the hands of a zoning team and we only beat a few. So I’ve got to think it’s more personnel than the overall strategy. Could the strategy have been adapted to fit the personnel? A bit, but the first answer encompasses the most important change.

    Maybe? Do you mean did he minimize the importance of 3pt shooting in general, against zones, or are you talking about defense. I’m going to answer the first one and say yes, because none of his good 3pt shooters were good enough defenders to cover up Tharpe and Ellis being on the floor at the same time. Greene can get there. I think Frankamp stepped it up too. White’s probably gone, and even if he’s not, he should red-shirt so that’s a moot point anyway.

    No! I don’t know why Greg Anthony suggested this at all. Has he seen Wigs in the middle of a zone? The real shortcoming Andrew Wiggins has as a player is that he lacks a high BBIQ. Yeah, his jump shooting is inconsistent and his handle is too loose, but both of those things can be traced back to he doesn’t really know where to attack off the drive and so he pulls up for shots when he shouldn’t and crashes into multiple defenders too often, losing the ball in the process. The kid will be a killer in the NBA where he won’t face a clogged lane or help defenders too often, but the college game is soooo different. Anyway, broader point is, I think Wigs in the center just leads to turnovers. He’s not a good enough passer or high enough BBIQ player to be counted on to make good decisions from there, and like the other 6’8" guys we put in the middle, he struggled to put shots up over 6’10" defenders. Julian Wright was a player you could stick in the middle of a zone and he’d just tear it to pieces. With more experience and coaching, Wigs might have got there, but the detriment of being possibly the greatest non-professional athlete in North America is that he never had to learn how to do those things in order to be successful (compare to Jabari Parker, who is the better college player, tho I think Wigs will eclipse in the NBA).

    Anyhow, Selden’s coming back, so that’s exciting.

  • @drgnslayr We were a different team with Francamp on the floor. The zone stymied us until Francamp came in. After Francamp led the comeback to take the halftime lead, I don’t think we saw Francamp until about…10 minutes left in the 2nd half…maybe later? I think your criticisms of Coach Self are missing the target - I think you could show Naadir every videotape of every 1-3-1 until the end of time, and he would still dribble around, throw a wobbly pass on the perimeter to Selden, and look like the most frustrated player on the court with every turnover. I think the right target is the unyielding loyalty Coach displays by giving huge minutes to a player who is honestly clueless how to run a team. When EKU’s primary gameplan is to pressure Naadir because they knew they could turn him over, and it worked again and again, and again, and finally, after we are literally getting destroyed, he relents, and gives Francamp a few minutes. And then the team begins to run 1000% better. Francamp knew more about how to attack that zone than Naadir ever will in his career.

    Naadir Tharpe’s 2 tourney games: 47 minutes 9 points/ 5 asst/ 7 T.O. Francamp 2 tourney games : 43 minutes 22 points/ 4 asst/ 0 T.O.

  • This team did not struggle against zone defenses. This team never attempted to bust a zone open. There are several zone busters on this team. They spent the majority of the season neatly tucked away on the bench. That is not a criticism, that is a fact. Greene, White III, and Frankamp, are all capable zone busters. They did not see meaningful minutes against zone defenses.

    Why did we lose the game? Nerves. Young team. Scouting reports. We are not that hard to figure out. There are rarely open shots taken early in the sot clock. The ball is going side to side, and then look for an inside shot. Most of the quick shots happen in transition.

    Unfortunately, this years team may have peaked the second game of the season. Bottom line, this was an extremely young team that gave the media and fans great expectations after the second game of the season. The team they beat, turned out to not be as good as advertised.

    Losing sucks and really stings. We have a great basketball program. Next year should be an even better year. We did replace 5 starters after all. I like our chances. Go Jayhawks!

  • Courtesy of Wikipedia:

    In 2005–06 the Jayhawks fielded one of the youngest teams in the nation, by the end of the year the starting line-up consisted of 3 Freshmen and 2 Sophomores. After some early season struggles, the Jayhawks finished the season with thirteen conference wins, good enough for their second straight season in which the team had claimed a share of the championship. Bill Self was named Big 12 Coach of the Year for the first time. In postseason play the team defeated its conference opponents to claim its first Big 12 Championship title since 1999. In the NCAA Division I tournament, the fourth seeded Jayhawks were defeated in the first round by Bradley, a #13 seed.

    Open a history book fellas. If you don’t you will repeat history over and over…

    You did’t need a crystal ball to see where this one season was going. The only reason for despair is that the bracket was so wide open until the Elite Eight where Florida would most likely have crushed our dreams. Next years team with more experience will have far more wins. Is this core still one year away from a N.C.?

  • @dylans I agree that next year’s team, with more experience, will give us hopes of NC…if not in 15, maybe in 16. I also agree that this team seemed a lot like the 05-06 team all season. I was at the Bradley game and our guys were beaten at half time. They came out for the 2nd half with a defeated look on all of their faces. That lucky, near half court shot at the first half buzzer sure didn’t help. The difference between the 05-06 team is that all of those guys came back in 06 and 07 and we only lost Julian (and only kept Brandon because of the ACL) in 07 and 08. That being said, I can see the core of Ellis, Greene, CF, Mason, Traylor, (probably not Selden as I think he will have a big year next year) and one or maybe both of Oubre and Alexander back in 15-16…now that sounds like a NC contender.

  • @Hawk8086 I think you hit the nail on the head. Could we win it next year? Possibly. But it’s more likely we’re looking at 2 years down the road and that’s IF we only lose one or two guys to the early exit merry-go-round. I think if we land Turner, we can afford to lose one of either him or Alexander. And I think we could probably only afford to lose one of Oubre & Selden. And the thing of it to me is, the core you listed - Ellis, Greene, CF, Mason, Traylor, and I’ll throw in Lucas & Mickelson as well - those all only strike me as complementary pieces. Since we’re comparing to the '05-'06 team that would eventually become the '08 championship team, that core group represent the RussRobs, the Darnell Jacksons, the Sasha Kauns. They would be a great foundation, but they would not be the stars. We would need a couple of stars to emerge and stay from the Selden/Oubre/Alexander/Turner group.

  • @icthawkfan316 @Hawk8086 You guys are thinking too small. If Embiid returns, we’ll be a top 3 team going into next season. If he doesn’t, but we sign Myles Turner, we’ll be top 5 at least. I think we’re looking at a return to the Final Four next season if either of those things is true, especially if Mason or Frankamp can displace Tharpe (Although personally, I’d like to see what Selden can do on point. I’d hoped that’s what he was recruited for. He’s just not a wing.). Oubre won’t score like Wigs, but he can defend very well, actually has longer arms, is a worse shooter, but a much stronger ball handler and passer. He’ll fit in better in a system that plays through the post. Mickleson will give us someone who can still be a rim protector when Embiid/Turner sits, and Alexander should be a decent shot blocker too (although he needs to be cured of his swatting ways). In other words, I expect a return to a more classic Self type team of strong defenders that turn D into O and are capable of winning ugly.

  • @konkeyDong Well you pointed out one very important “if” in next year’s scenario. If Tharpe is displaced. I’m very skeptical as to that possibility. I just don’t trust Bill to pull the plug on him like he needs to. This is one reason why I point to two years down the road as opposed to next year. If it happens next year, I’ll be much more optimistic about our chances.

    Regardless of the PG situation, here is my thinking, you’re replacing Wiggins, Black, & most likely Embiid with Oubre, Alexander, & let’s say Turner. To me, that’s a slight downgrade. We had problems on defense all year, and we just lost our best perimeter defender & post defender. As I’ve stated elsewhere, Oubre seems to be a plus defender, but I don’t see him at Wiggins level next year. And I don’t see Alexander & Turner as being as good as Embiid & Black.

    So 2/5 of the starting line-up has already taken a step back on the defensive end. After that, it depends on how you fill out the remaining 3 spots, but in most scenarios I imagine there is a slight improvement in defense. How slight depends on if Tharpe is displaced and if Ellis improves, but it could very well be a wash when coupled with the decline we see at the 3 & the 5. You expect a return to a more classic Self team of strong defenders, whereas I just don’t see us being much better defensively.

    I also think Mickelson will be a non-factor next year. We’re just too deep for him to find minutes, especially if we bring in Turner. Alexander, Ellis, Turner, & Traylor all figure to see minutes before Mickelson, maybe Lucas too.

  • @icthawkfan316 “I just don’t trust Bill to pull the plug on him like he needs to.”

    I emphasized the word " needs " because I think that is key.
    Sometimes stubborn is to prove a point. Most of the time stubborn hurts the team. Bill Self is a great coach. But he needs to recognize when he’s wrong and get over it. We’re all wrong from time to time.

    When I’m wrong it generally doesn’t disappoint hundreds of thousands of people across the country and world.

  • @icthawkfan316 I couldn’t disagree with you more on Alexander/Turner vs Embiid/Black. Embiid is definitely a better offensive player than Turner, but defensively Turner is the top shot blocker in his class. The same couldn’t be said of Embiid. I think at worst, they’re a wash on D. Alexander, on the other hand, is going to be much better than Black on BOTH ends of the floor. Black was never a good defender. He’s neither a shot blocker nor a guy that could keep a driving big in front of him without fouling, and he’s only a so-so rebounder. I have no idea why you think Alexander is any kind of downgrade. The guys are about the same size, but Alexander has an enormous wingspan and has shown excellent timing. Upgrade all around. As for Mickelson, he doesn’t have to play a lot of minutes to be a factor. He just has to be able to be a rim protector when our primary goes off the floor. That could be as little as 3 minutes a game as long as it means we can continue to challenge shots at the rim. That’s not something we can do with an Ellis/Traylor/Lucas line up. The bigger picture, however, is that puts us 3 deep at rim protectors next season, rather than 1. Likewise, even if Oubre isn’t Wiggins on D, he doesn’t have to be for us to come up better on the perimeter. Selden gets the opportunity to improve too, as will Frankamp and Mason, even if they don’t start over Tharpe. Tharpe for defensive improvement is a lost cause, as, I am afraid, is Ellis. But we’ll have more viability only putting one of those guys on the floor at a time as long as the Embiid/Turner thing comes through.

    On top of all of that, it’s important to remember that team strength is relative. Arizona is likely to lose a bunch of key players. So is Florida, Louisville, Virginia, Duke, Baylor, Cuse, UConn, ISU, etc. UNC and UK should retain enough talent to be better teams, as should Texas and others, but looking at the current landscape, I’m expecting the combination of more experience on our bench plus the reload to put us in a better position to win games all season long.

  • @konkeyDong You misunderstand. You are replacing Wiggins with Oubre = defensive downgrade. You are replacing Embiid with Alexander = defensive downgrade. Those are the starters being replaced. Even if you want to substitute Turner for Alexander on the defensive comparisons, I think it’s a reach to think that Turner will be what Embiid was. I don’t care what Embiid was in his class; the learning curve he was on was so unprecedented that regardless of what he did in high school, by mid-December he was so much further along than every other kid on a normal trajectory. And it is because I think that Embiid is so much better defensively than either of them will be their first year, that from a pure minutes perspective I’d take a starting Embiid plus Black off the bench and say that it’s better than 40 minutes of Alexander plus Turner (or vice versa) off the bench, defensively anyway. Mainly because I would place that much importance on the starters, because you can sub strategically to where it doesn’t hurt you as much. Now, if you can convince me that should Turner commit that Self would go with a Turner/Alexander starting front court, I would be 100% in agreement that it would be better defensively, as that takes Ellis and his defensive deficiencies out of the equation.

    I do think we’ll be better next year, as I laid out numerous reasons on another thread (I think the thread was actually “will we be better…” ). We won’t lose as many games because we won’t have as tough a schedule and the Big 12 might take a small step back. I just don’t see a team that will still be incredibly young without any real upperclass leadership (Perry & Naadir? Ha!), without any real postseason success to draw from, to take a huge step forward from round of 32 to NC contender. I mean, you talk rankings “top 3” “top 5”…hell we were top 10 most of this year! And top 5 for parts of it. I don’t care about the polls. I’ll measure next year’s team by where it ends up.

  • @icthawkfan316 Who said anything about polls? Top 3 and top 5 are absolute assessments, not where I think the AP will put us. And we were top 10 most of the year, save when Embiid was out, at which point KU became a very mediocre team. If you look at any of the advanced statistical models, we averaged about the top 8 most of the year with a very young team. Not even the alive and kicking UK Wildcats can say the same. Embiid’s injury had more to do with our post season collapse than any other factor about this team.

    I think I understood you perfectly, but I still disagree. I wouldn’t count on Alexander necessarily being a bench guy if we got Turner or vice versa. Self likes defenders, which Ellis is not. If Alexander can produce and defend, Perry’s role on the team becomes endangered. But even if we are pulling Alexander off the bench, the downgrade from Embiid in the middle to Black is so maddeningly huge, that even if Turner isn’t quite as good defensively as Embiid (and I still contend that he’s as good or maybe even slightly better simply because he’s been playing ball so much longer), Alexander is so much better all around than even the senior version of Tarik Black that you come out with a net positive because you’re basically not losing anything in terms of turning shots away. It’s conjecture on both of our parts at this point anyway, but in either case, I think we’d both agree the ideal scenario is to get Embiid back. If we lose Embiid and miss on Turner, I think we’ll be looking 2 years down the line as well, but who knows what the landscape will look like at that point either?

  • @konkeyDong I guess we’ll agree to disagree on the defense. I will say that I don’t see Alexander coming off the bench period. If Embiid stays, I think it’s Embiid/Alexander. If Embiid leaves and no Turner, it’s obviously Ellis/Alexander. The interesting thing to me will be if Embiid leaves and we land Turner, will Self go with Alexander/Ellis or Alexander/Turner? I agree that Self wants defenders, but we’re already talking about the possibility of displacing Tharpe, and now Ellis too? I can’t fathom Self benching Perry in that situation; an upperclassman and his leading returning scorer. In that situation, Self would be starting two sophomores and three freshman (CF/Mason, Selden, Oubre, Alexander, Turner). I think at the very least we’re likely to see Ellis start at the beginning of the season and if his defense wears on Self again next year than a change made mid-season.

  • @KUSTEVE Frankamp

  • @KUSTEVE You have a good point though. I tend to think that over the off season Frankamp will get stronger and more athletic with Hudy training, then he will take over Naadir’s spot as starting PG after maybe the first few games of the season. It could also be Mason in that spot as well. Both of them ran the point better than Naadir did. It seemed the flow of the game was smoother with either of them than it was with Tharpe. Both Conner and Frank’s Asst:TO % is better.

  • @dylans 100% agree.

  • @konkeyDong That’s what I am saying too Konkey! Embiid comes back, we will be the team to beat for the N.C. next year. We will, I can feel it. That said, there are a couple of Caveats to that dream coming true. First; Either Mason or Conner needs to show Coach that they are worthy of the starting PG spot. Second, Embiid comes back…No that’s the first one, flip with the other. Third, Perry needs to grow big brass balls and a killer instinct. Fourth, Selden needs to do the same thing. Fifth, Hudy needs to kick that whole teams asses during the off season so they are ripped and healthy and ready to do some ass kicking of their own. “Quilted knees” can be rehabbed and strengthened, as can lower backs and shoulders. Sixth, Our two new guys Alexander and Oubre need to show us their alpha dog mentalities. I think Alexander has it and Oubre quite possibly will have it also. Oubre isn’t quite as talented as Wiggins but if he has that Alpha dog, killer instinct, he wont have to be.

  • @icthawkfan316 I respectfully disagree man. We know nothing about how Mickelson can play. He may surprise us all and be a huge factor off the bench like Withey was. I have heard that Mickelson can be effective on the offensive end as well as on defense, so we shouldn’t automatically call him a non factor if he brings good rim protection (which he will) and some decent offense to the table. We also don’t know if Embiid will be gone after this year. Everyone says he is gone but Im not buying it. I think the big guy loved his college life and has some unfinished business here. I think he wants to come back another year. I mentioned before about how he can heal his back and get stronger with Hudy and ALL of the resources that KU medicine brings to bear. KU is among the best medical schools and hospitals in the nation.
    I also don’t think we lose that much replacing Wiggins with Oubre. Yes Wiggins was the best freshmen we have had at KU since probably Paul Pierce. But, Oubre is very good in his own right and it seems to me that the kid has a bit of a killer instinct edge to him. I have only seen a few videos and I follow him on twitter but he doesn’t seem scared to get down and dirty or to come out with swagger and emotion to fire the team up. I hope I am right.
    Alexander is a beast. I agree that he could be a slight drop off from Tarik simply because Tarik was a Senior, he was a man, not a kid in a man’s body like Alexander is. But, the kid is going to be good.
    Most of what I am saying is that we wont have much drop off next season if Embiid sticks around and I think he will. If he doesn’t well then Turner, Alexander, Mickelson, Traylor and Lucas will have to step it up. Im betting they will.

  • @nuleafjhawk ALmost forgot. I really think that when Conner and or Mason show Coach Self that they are the better option at PG, Coach will HAVE to pull Tharpe to the bench. He has to if it gives our team the best chance at winning. I agree Coach is a stubborn guy. He hates making adjustments in game to give us the best chance to win. Case and point, the Stanford game. BUT that said, during the off season and pre season I really believe Frankamp will show Coach that he is our starting point guard. Mason could do the same but my money is on Conner. The kid was a stud for us during crunch time in the tournament. Its very likely he will continue do to that and get better. He starts over Tharpe by the 5th or 6th non conf game next season, if not earlier.

  • @icthawkfan316 It remains to be seen if Oubre actually will be a defensive downgrade from Wigs. Both are about the same height and length. IMO Oubre would have a slight edge over Wigs by the way of his mentality. I think he may show us that he has a killer instinct. I think his personality on his twitter feed suggests to me that he is not a soft spoken kid like Wiggins is. That suggests to me that his on court presence will be stronger and he will come out ready to fight every game. By no means am I saying that he will be more talented than WIgs or that he will beat Wiggins KU freshmen records this year BUt I do think his personality will give him an edge that Wiggins doesn’t have yet. Again, its speculation but isn’t that what we are all doing right now?

  • @icthawkfan316 @konkeyDong

    At this time it is hard to tell whether the Embiid, Wiggins, Black would be better than Turner, Alexander, Oubre since we have not seen what the 3 later players can do. They can surprise us and exceed expectations or they can turn out not to be as good as advertised.

    However, you need to look at the bigs line up in context and would have to add Michelson to the mix, since he is a new player. Michelson is a proven shot blocker that probably has gotten a lot better in his red shirt year. In this context, and assuming that the new players develop in relation to their current rankings, the new group might have the edge because of the additional player in the mix.

    Now, when you add the fact that the returning players will have one more year of experience, one could make a convincing argument that next years team is potentially better; after all, inexperience was a big issue this past season.

  • Adding an article from Grantland on Wiggins, Embiid and Parker.

    ###Grantland: Does Andrew Wiggins Want to Get Rich or Get Better?###

    Look at it logically. Parker and Wiggins can get paid next year, sure, but they’ll be on crummy teams with no one to teach them how to be a man. No Coach K, no Bill Self. Nobody to teach them how to lead. Their games are incomplete now, but in the NBA, they’ll be playing an 82-game schedule and they’ll have more plane flights than practices. With no time to work, chances are that the holes in their game will stick with ’em for years. As their careers progress, there are some skills they just won’t have, and it’ll cost ’em come contract time. Or if not contracts, maybe it’ll cost ’em championships. It all ends up looking like the marshmallow test for a bunch of 19-year-old superstars.

  • @bskeet wow! Thanks. Hope nobody overlooks it. Very interesting, I keep wondering what is going on in these kids heads right now. Gotta be confusing.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Good point… I added the link in my previous post so folks don’t have to scroll to the top if they don’t want to…

  • @bskeet Great find! I found myself agreeing with many of the points he made. I’m glad he pointed out some of the obvious few are willing to discuss here.

  • @Wishawk so how do you think parents advise these guys? Ben had to go, or he would be here.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I can’t advice others’ kids, but I told mine to put all his effort into what he thinks are his goals. Now I know he doesn’t hear me as well as he should, but I made sure he heard me enough times. He is no athlete, but I hope he achieves more than I did.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 By the way, Ben was not a Freshman. Even if he were, he left as man who took his responsibilities with him. TRob was man who left early to take care of his responsibilities. I’m not a fan of proclaimed OADs, but I’m not against all OADs because they are all different.

  • @Wishawk I know Ben wasn’t a frosh. He had to go to take care of his family, but he didn’t want to go. He’s coming back this summer to go to school.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 That’s great to hear about Ben…

    At one point today, I had an odd thought…

    What if Embiid decides to declare – his reasoning is that his stock is already sky-high… his back might get re-injured and that would only raise questions next year.

    But Wiggins talks to his brother about the college experience… reflects on the year…and is so disappointed about how he finished that he chooses to return…

    I know how unlikely this is… but that would make for an interesting team next year for sure.

  • @bskeet crazy, but you never know! I wondered if we might be better off w/Myles in case Embiid would go down w/back problems next year??? As a parent I can’t imagine your son, a boy still, out there w/those big old mature guys. Watched some of the replays w/the heat tonight, not pleasant for young Andrew to go thru. I really don’t know much about their development programs. I would think they will announce soon.

  • For those folks who are saying that Embiid needs to go ahead and quickly make up his mind and announce his future intentions, I don’t think you are being fair to Jo and his family. This is quite possibly the biggest decision the young man has ever had to make in his life, and here we have board rats proclaiming “hurry up and decide so we can get Myles Turner.” Quite in line with todays “what have you done for me lately” mentality. You know, the way I see it: JoJo is a Jayhawk, and he means more to me than any potential Jayhawk. I hope Jo takes as much time as he needs to consult as many people as he needs to make the best decision for himself. If we miss out on a prospect because of it, then so be it. I know I wouldn’t rush my own children on decisions such as these.

  • RE; point guard talk…Conner vs Frank…

    My preference would be Conner WITH Frank 1 and 2. Wayne 3, Ellis 4. We’ll see on the 5 spot. A lot can change, but I expect Jamari to make similar strides in his development and be very difficult to keep off the floor. He’s established his face up 15 footer, next year I expect to see him take more people off the drive with it and I see Bill going back to the 7-8 Man rotation next year: Conner, Frank, Brannen, Wayne, Perry, Cliff, Jamari, (Embiid, Turner, ???). Landen and Hunter will be odd men out for minutes. But I digress.

    Conner and Frank give us the perfect combination of caution and aggression; speed and steadiness, drive/collapse/dish.

    Of course Frankamp had 0 turnovers in 140 minutes. He would be perfect for Bo Ryan with his slow, deliberate, but cautions and steady pace. He’s not going to make plays off of the bounce, but he’s not going to lose the ball either.

    Mason, is the opposite of Frankamp. And once he can get his swinging legs under control, I expect his trey % to improve as well.

    One last comment: what is with our desire to label Kelly Oubre the “next” whoever. Why is society obsessed with this fad of having the “next” blah blah blah. Why can’t we just evaluate Kelly Oubre for who Kelly Oubre is? It seems lazy to me. Instead of actually giving explanations regarding skill set and siting specific examples we just say “oh, he’s the next Kobe Bryant” or “next Hakeem Olajuwon” blah blah blah. Guess I can get off the soap box now 🙂

  • @Blown When you say that Mason is the opposite of Frankamp, do you mean that he had 140 turnovers in 0 minutes?

    Just kidding…

  • Yep , exactly nuleaf 🙂

  • Posted on nbcsports 1 minute ago that Embid will enter the 2014 NBA draft

  • @globaljaybird


    I was going to write something witty and funny but now I’m just deflated. I really don’t care that much that Wiggins is gone, but I was looking forward to seeing Joel in the Crimson and Blue for another season. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed watching a KU player as much as him, and that’s saying a lot!

    I sincerely hope that 20 years from now we’re talking about his prospects for the Hall of Fame. I wouldn’t be surprised.

  • @wissoxfan83 His family friend told me that he would be “very much surprised” if Joel did not enter the draft about a month ago. Here is another link to the scoop-maybe it’s all baloney, but I’m fairly confident it is true.

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