Keegan Column: Absence proved Embiid’s worth

  • KU Sports column by Tom Keegan

    There is nothing in the column that we didn’t know already. But I like the head line, and I wonder if Embiid is worth more to both KU and also the NBA.

    Wiggins had 41, 30, 19, then 4 points in his last four games in KU uniform. He was projected to be the number one draft in the up coming NBA draft. And he proved his potential by scoring over 40 in one game, and 70+ points in two games, at least that was what every reporter on TV was talking about. Had Wiggins scored 9 points in the last game, we might still be watch both Wiggins and Embiid in the next game. Now we have people talk about Wiggins might one of top 3 drafted instead the top player.

    So what did Coach Self tell Wiggins and why did Wiggins shut down completely in his final game in college?

    To be honest, I’ve stayed away from the KU news for three days after the loss. And now my heart finally stopped crying. I’ve read all the analysis on how Coach Self didn’t help the team and players, but there was none on the players. Is there no opinion of how the team or individuals performed? Floor burns or the lack of?

  • I haven’t blamed Andrew at all for our loss, and I thought he showed a big set of testicles by stepping up and taking responsibility for the loss when he shouldn’t have.

    He was being pinched out of drives all game and we didn’t run anything to specifically attack their zone which would have created opportunities for Andrew.

    He wasn’t just going to make something happen in a situation like that. We had to switch up some structure on offense to help him out and we didn’t.

    Tough way for him to leave us…

    My biggest mystery was Naadir. Why did he freak out so much? How often do you see that… a team’s starting PG all year, playing 30+ mpg and then comes post season play and he disappears or makes huge blunders? What could have spooked him to that level? Why wasn’t he worked with so he could have a decent March? Someone set him down for a talk… some reassuring words… some ideas to help lift his confidence. Usually, players just need to hear that everyone around them has their back, even if they are the leader of the team.

    Both of these situations I describe point more towards coaching issues rather than player issues. I don’t easily let players out of their responsibilities… but in this case, it feels like they were just left to figure things out for themselves… either they get it or they don’t. It felt like they were abandoned. It felt like a game where a team didn’t have coaching there for them during the game.

  • @drgnslayr Thanks for replying. I may appear to blame the players, but really I’m not. I know my place and I’m not the one who was on the court. So it really is just questions that I can’t answer. I don’t have a lot of BB knowledge to dive in and give any technical analysis. I know this team has weakness, but it’s my understanding Stanford is not an exceptional team. By looking at the numbers, outside of Wiggins and Tharpe, the team appeared to have performed to their average. If Wiggins had the average output, we’d have scored around 70, and if Wiggins had a super human game, we’d hit 85. The team played according to Coach’s plan, and they attacked the paint (stubbornly, some said), and actually got Stanford big men into foul trouble, but we didn’t capitalize when their big guy sat. So I’d like to hear from the more knowledgeable posters here of the breakdown of the game and show how the individual players did something successfully while did something incorrectly. Basically the nuts and bolts of the game. Basketball is a team sport, so they either succeed as a team or fail as a team. But it’d be interesting to look at how and which piece broke down and caused some of the processes to fail. Maybe Wiggins was at the right place and right time, but none of the supporting cast was, so Wiggins couldn’t do anything about it. There got to be some explanations why Wiggins only touched the ball so few times and score so few points.

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