Thank You Kentucky

  • As if I needed another reminder that I’m not the smartest guy in the world, you have to go and send a whole freaking starting lineup of freshmen to the Final Four.

    I said it couldn’t be done. Again.

    Maybe it’s not the players…

    Before y’all ( I lived in Houston for almost 10 years, I’m comfortable saying " y’all " ) start bashing - you know I love Bill Self, I’m just not happy. If anyone can take freshmen to the FF, it should be Self.

  • I hear you nuleaf! it’s making me sick seeing this happen…again!

  • I’ve already barfed several times since watching Harrison sink that trey. But, take heart, they won’t win it. They can’t win on last second shots against UConn, Florida, or even Wisconsin at this point. I’ll tell you the difference. Calipari told his guys to “play loose and have fun.” They have nothing to lose. They weren’t expected to be this far. They are the hunter, not the hunted. KU is always the hunted every year no matter their seed or rank. UK is playing way above themselves compared to their season. It won’t surprise me if we have an all SEC NC game. But Florida has to get passed UConn and uk passed Wisconsin.

    I forgot…they all have really good or even great pg play. And, dare I say, cough, cough…coaching? I’ve got to say, this is the worst coaching loss I’ve seen from Self. It might even be worse than the other miserable tourney loses. He was out coached by Johnny Dawkins. Dawkins had a brilliant game plan. Self waits too long to try new sets. His press was working, but too little too late. What’s even more sickening is that more and more teams are going to the 2-3 zone too. Self has proven the zone D to work. I’ll never understand how you can go into a tourney, knowing a team will likely use something different or at least zone you due to scouting reports, and you still insist on man-man when the other team is picking you apart. I’m baffled. In fact if all is true, what was the problem with the scouting report? The guys didn’t even know their key players. Self said it was his fault the guys didn’t know, because no scouting report was given. What? Ugh, Ugh

  • @nuleafjhawk

    I just threw up a little in my mouth thx man!

  • @truehawk93 UK was expected to be this far. They were the preseason #1 team. That team has been pretty thoroughly raked over the coals for underachieving this season. Had they gotten knocked out of the tournament early, there would have been gallons of internet ink spilled on how experience trumps talent, and how UK’s players were selfish, etc. That wouldn’t happen if this were Tennessee, or Texas, or NC State, or Dayton, or Cincinnati or any number of other programs. But if you’re Kentucky, or Kansas, or UNC, or Duke, the expectations never go away.

    I’m not sure Kentucky can ever not be “the hunted” any more than KU or UNC or Duke, or any of the other elite level programs. The name on the front of the jersey doesn’t change. The jersey says Kentucky, therefore it is assumed that you should be in the hunt for the Final Four and ultimately the national title.

    UK is winning now, but really, all they are doing is playing up to their potential. Early in the season, they were not and as a result they struggled. Now they are, and as a result, they are winning.

    North Carolina had a rocky year this year. They lost at home to Belmont. Lost to UAB. Started 0-4 in the ACC. But they still got everyone’s best shot because they were North Carolina.

  • @justanotherfan Yep…say what you want, they are playing. But they can’t win on last second shots at this point.

  • @truehawk93

    @justanotherfan Yep…say what you want, they are playing. But they can’t win on last second shots at this point.

    They just did…win on last second shot.

  • It galls me that they are now playing up to their potential, while we did not. It should have been us. We should be the one-and-done experiment that was successful…maybe not early in the season, but by the end because of our superior coaching, tradition, and fan support! Grrr…

    Now, I will say that I used to agree with @nuleafjhawk 100% about senior experience being the be-all-end-all in the tournament…until last year. We had the experience to go far, starting 4 seniors. But we got upset early, and that rocked my presumption of experience counting for so much.

    So what did last year and this year have in common? A weak point guard. That’s going to be my new mantra. You can’t go far in the tournament without a quality point guard, who is also a good leader. Leadership in the back court is key.

  • @tundrahok

    " Now, I will say that I used to agree with @nuleafjhawk 100% about senior experience being the be-all-end-all in the tournament…until last year. We had the experience to go far, starting 4 seniors. But we got upset early, and that rocked my presumption of experience counting for so much."

    Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. I’d hoped that everyone had forgotten how much I mouthed off about senior leadership all year long!!

    I still think that generally a more experienced team is better, but I’m going to hop on board with your point guard leadership as the key that starts the engine.

    Come on Bill, get us a D-1, BIG TIME Point Guard!!!

  • We need a High Elite Major point guard!!!

  • @nuleafjhawk I agree. I hate to see Kentucky (and Cal) go the the F4 again with mostly freshmen. The only good thing is…Michigan got a taste of their own medicine.

  • One little thing we are missing: Look at Fred VanVleet, most would call him a better PG than Tharpe. Had a lousy statistical night against KY, and Fred is 5’11? Harrisons are 6’6.

    KU/Self has gotten away from our TOUGH, 6’1-6’3 combo guard concept, which means also having 2 ball-handling guards on the floor at all times. See EJ struggle by himself, when he was fine year before WITH Tyshawn…the havoc-causing duo taking us all the way to the champ game. Very near the end of regulation vs Memphis in '08, Self had all 3 of his experienced combo guards on the floor: Russell, Mario, Sherron. All 3 of them touched the ball in 1.5sec prior to Russell’s kick out for Sherron’s big 3. Think of all that experience and development and chemistry. So yes, I agree with everybody about needing better PG play, but we need our type of guard: a combo-type who can do anything and everything in the offense. And we need more than 1 competent-both-ends guard AT ALL TIMES. These are all lessons and conclusions over the years of KU+Selfball experiences.

    In the words of Darnell Jackson: We need to stay true to what brought us here.

  • Personally I am surprised by KY’s run, as I didnt think they could turn it around like this after a whole season of rollercoaster play. I didnt mind seeing them beat Michigan. I actually rooted big time for KY.

    I dont think Wisconsin matches up well with KY. Randle will eat Kaminsky. I think KY is in the Champ game again. But will their A-game continue, or will they pull out a B- or C+ game and get beat?

    Face this fact: Calipari with his freshmen is going to be BETTER than any other coach with 4 or 5 frosh, simply because he is very experienced at getting the most out of them, his simpler system, and his 5 frosh are better than anybody else’s 4 or 5 frosh.

    Another fact: Ever since Tulsa 1999, Self has proved he can win to Elite8 level and more with seasoned veteran teams. The mid-major, team-ball approach (like G.Marshall is doing at WSU), except that now, Self is able to stock his teams with better talent since arriving at KU. Same developmental system, but way better players. But developmental time needed…and the corollary to this fact is that if we get too many early departures or OADs, it DIRECTLY erodes the experience-level and efficiency of execution of our team.

  • Go Wisconsin.

  • Come on, Jayhawks… adopt the Badge!

    Go Badgers!

  • I guess it’s “fun” to root for the underdog, and watch the “blueblood” (KY, in this case) go down? It’s like rooting for whoever is playing Duke to beat Duke. Beat UNC. Beat KU…oops! see what I did there…. I guess I’m just too sick of people rooting against KU and the other bluebloods. That whole “tired of seeing them win all the time” is a tired, old, schtick that only small-school fans and losers say. We, at KU, certainly should have no need to resort to a loser mentality. Look at those losers in Manhattan: It made their season to beat ku, they print up such shirts, blah, blah, blah. Is that our mentality too? Look, the blue-bloods should be teaching the rest of the basketball world about “how” standards are set, how they are maintained, and what it takes to be a perennial power. Royalty programs win and win and win because of their driven committment to excellence. Upsets only make history for the underdog that pulls it off…But does it really matter down the line? Where is UNI and Ben Jacobsen now? Nowhere. Did it help Jacobsen land a few 5star guys? Nope. Is Calipari going to out-recruit anybody any more than he has with this season’s class? Nope. *So there isnt much to lose, nor would their losing open up “our” bracket, lol… *I just want to see if KY frosh can play more consistently than OUR frosh did. This team is even younger than the KY’12 roster, but had less chemistry, until now…I love Self’s system, will grant Calipari his system…and see if KY can pass this HUGE test of their system and their maturity.

    I guess I will go counter-grain and root for the blue-blood. Call me a rebel. Definitely was happy to see Michigan lose, and seeing KY pull that off, opened my eyes to what these KY kids are doing.

    Analytically speaking, Kentucky matches up astonishingly good vs. Wisconsin. KY’s A-game will destroy Wisconsin and Kaminsky. Now if the fab-frosh pull out a dud, Wisconsin could certainly pull a “W” (see what I did there). KY frosh actually putting it together…now, wouldnt ya believe…

    KU is sitting at home for several, several reasons. There is better ball being played in the Tourney, and we deserve to be sitting at home, based on our on-court performance. Does that sting? Well, Bill Self has some teaching to do, as well as better guard-recruiting to do.

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