Post Banquet Conversation

  • @drgnslayr There were clearly stretches where I think playing White over Selden would have made sense. But Self must know something there (we would assume). I mean he played a hurt Selden over White, and White barely got a sniff?

    The separation between the two must be astonishing in Self’s eyes.

    I recall that Self said he didn’t play White as much in 2012-13 because of ball handling. Selden is a worse ball handler than White.

    You make an excellent point.

  • @HighEliteMajor I saw Embiid’s knee bow, and I had the same thing while high jumping, went to plant and whamo, but mine didn’t bounce back it stuck and had to be popped back into place. That was a monday, went and jumped Saturday and won with a jump of 6-1 with only misses at 6-2. It was swollen and sore, but ice helped.

    As for Joels injury, he got tossed to the floor at the ISU game too, not just the OKst game. Stress fractures happen over time, that’s what my Dr told me anyway when I had some in them Tibia.

    You are right Self controls who goes in and out of the game. But he doesn’t have a Dr. report in front of him during the game, so he has to take a players word for it if they can go back in. If he see’s they are slow, or limping then he knows they lied and they come out. How many games did Selden sit out for extended minutes??? Maybe Self was holding his playing time down??? Wasn’t there I don’t know.

    Big Picture, kids want to play, thats why they are there, it’s why they accepted a scholarship, they know it can be a means to an end for them, free school, a career making millions down the road. Self sat Embiid, the big picture there was for his health, not for the team.

    Everybody heals differently too, some guys can play hurt others can’t. In Jrhigh I couldn’t, but as I got older and took some ribbing from my dad on toughness I learned I could play through about anything and I did, a split lip, sprained ankles, hyper-extended knee, concussions too. Do I suffer from any of them now? Yes I do, I have memory loss, loss of ballance, I walk with a slight limp, and a bigger one after climbing stairs. My ankles roll if I step on a pebble on the sidewalk, I do not have a lisp so I got that going for me.

    We all do stupid things when we were younger and we felt our bodies healed quicker. Competitors want to compete, they want to win, they don’t want to sit in street close on the bench. Look at the face of Joel, you could tell he didn’t want to be there.

  • Selden was needed to contribute to this team. I think that was the reason why the coaching staff, (remember, decisions like this aren’t just the head coach) decided to play Selden hurt. If they had redshirted Selden, then what? Who starts? Connor would’ve benefited but he wasn’t ready to play at the beginning of the season it appears.

    I am relieved that apparently this undisclosed knee injury limited his playing ability and we get him back for at least another season. As usual, I’m optimistic about the future while trying to forget the reasons that our team failed in the postseason.

  • @JRyman I’m not following you. Are you suggesting that Embiid’s stress fracture was due to getting thrown to the ground at ISU and/or OSU?

    And I don’t understand really at all your reference to “big picture.” You say “Self sat Embiid, the big picture there was for his health, not for the team.” Uh, right, that’s what I am kind of suggesting should have been done right after the knee injury. You’re saying it was “for his health, not for the team.” So a coach should sit a kid to make sure he’s healthy, with team goals in mind?

    It is a given that most kids want to compete and play. A coach makes the decision.

    And by the way, I’m guessing here, but it sounds like your knee cap popped out on your little high jump calamity. I’m quite sure you’re not comparing that to the pounding of D-1 basketball. And I’m glad ice helped, though.

  • @HighEliteMajor What are your thoughts on AW3 this coming year assuming he does not transfer? We seem to be pretty stacked at the 3 with him, Greene and not Oubre coming in. I suppose having a ton of depth is a good problem for KU…but not sure it is a good thing for AW3. He seemed to be odd man out last year and is going to be coming into a Junior season where he may not know how much playing time he will see. I’m pretty shocked that he is not looking to transfer or at least maybe red shirt if he is only going to spend his 2nd to last season in Lawrence on the bench.

  • (Warning: this post includes a long set up, and followed by unbridled optimism and belief in two players that many have grave doubts about. Be it known I hate giving up on guys that don’t give up. Sometimes it leaves me out in right field, as it did when I hoped for Justin Wesley to surprise everyone and make an impact. I can own it as one of my flaws. I love underdogs. America is just an underdog that got off the leash. I love America, too. The hell with leashes.)

    It appears to me that we have never gotten the straight skinny on AW3’s situation.

    And we may never get it.

    But that’s alright.

    We never REALLY got the straight scoop on Russell Robinson’s year in the darkest, sensory deprivation depths of the Toughening Box.

    Still, I think it helps to try to recall the crucible that AW3 has been through–to not simply leap to the conclusion that he will be one of the guys that never made it.

    Self has a history of putting certain players through living hell; of ignoring them to the edge of oblivion, and then retrieving them to do great things. Not all players have fairy tale book endings, but more wind up contributing something important to the program than don’t.

    Most of the guys that have left the last few years, had they had the courage to stick it out, would have be utilized by Self their last years. Justin Wesley is about the only one that did not contribute something decisive his last season and even he got one or two chances to come in an make an impact late. But Wesley clearly earned Self’s respect by hanging in and be an L&A practice player. Not saying that’s enough. Not saying it wouldn’t hurt like hell to get caught in the numbers. But I am saying that a surprising number of guys with a particularly marketable skill, like guarding the post, or rebounding, or slashing, or trifectating, eventually are called upon under Self their junior and/or senior years.

    So let us dust off the cobwebs in the memory.

    Partial recall then from the Memory Hole about AW3:

    Self said before the start of AW’s first season that it was pretty special to have a guy his size that could shoot the trey. AW3 was supposedly an awesome machine of a trey shooter.

    Next, as a freshman, when he got in games he seemed a bit awkward from being a bit too skinny and we never saw much sign of the great trey stroke.

    Sometime during the first half of the freshman season it surfaced in some newspaper quotes that his father indicated that KU was not the only team that had wanted his son. Whether or not the report meant to, it seemed to me the remark of a parent possibly disgruntled with his son’s PT. AW3’s PT seemed to drop somewhat after that quote appeared, but it was hard to draw any strong connection.

    Recall, however, that AW3’s situation was also unfolding somewhat in the shadow of the then modestly curious lengthening absence of Zach Peters, which Self remarked on intermittently more or less to the extent of saying that the longer Zach was out, the tougher it was going to be for him to come back.

    Sometime later in that first semester, if I recall correctly, it was reported that Zach reputedly suffered from a number of concussions, some dating back to high school football, one to some time during the summer in Lawrence, and maybe one more during the season. Don’t hold me to this sequence exactly. Its kind of vague in my memory.

    Soon it was reported that Zach had suffered from persistent impairment from the concussions, would not be returning to the team, would be going home at semester, would stay in school until then, and that Zach’s roommate, AW3, would be switched with Tyler Self for the remainder of the semester. I do not recall an explanation being given for the roommate switch.

    Over the rest of the season, AW3 got a few chances on the floor, did not play badly, showed some unexpected aptitude for rebounding, but did shoot particularly well, nor impact much, and maybe struggled a bit with defense and protection, as most freshmen tend to.

    Suggesting Self saw a possible specialist role for AW3, Self inserted AW3 at least once at the 4, against a small ball team (I forget which one). It was a brief trial and did not seem to accomplish much, but suggested also that AW3 was perhaps picking up defending some as the season went on.

    AW3’s PT seemed to dwindle down the stretch, as Self shortened his bench, and Ben at 2 and Travis at 3 played and trifectated exceptionally well and proved to be iron men in terms of endurance.

    After the season, AW3 made clear he was staying and committed to earning a rotation spot, despite the signing of Selden , at 2, and Wiggins, a 3–AW3’s most likely positions.

    Prior to last season, Self praised AW3’s off season development, indicated he was a likely rotation player, and said that he was being a leader on the very experienced young squad.

    At the start of the season, AW3 seemed transmogrified by Hudy’s weight work. The skinny gangly freshman had turned into a hulking, cut sophomore. He seemed to move much better. He saw some PT early but did not shoot the trey ball very well. Ball handling skills did not look exceptional, but they also did not look horrible either.

    Shortly, he started getting almost no playing time, despite the other starters and reserves on the perimeter protecting and shooting the trey ball often poorly. His defense seemed a bit slow footed, he did not seem sharply worse than anyone else backing up Selden and Wiggins, and at times did not seem sharply worse than Selden and Wiggins, during their ups and downs early.

    Very early and conspicuously, Self started Frank Mason at the point, which seemed a wake up call to Naadir Tharpe. But which we now know may have been something of a cover story for preparing to compensate for Selden’s knee injury.

    While we know now that Selden never fully healed, we know Selden resumed playing more.

    Around this time I vaguely recall there was a reputed injury to AW3, maybe a hip.

    In turn, the experiment of Mason starting, while junked after only two games, was not tossed in the ash can entirely. Recall that Self increasingly tended to pull Selden for a rest, move the 38% trey shooting Tharpe to a wing, and Mason to the point. It was during this period that Mason was being inserted reputedly for his ball handling and get-to-the-paint abilities, while Tharpe was reputedly being used as a trifetate and team leader ahead of AW3.

    The inference available at the time was that AW3 was slow to heal and in any case was not a good enough ball handler to share Tharpe’s ball handling duties, made apparently necessary by Tharpe’s on again, off again abilities to handle the ball against pressure.

    Self then spent some time rotating Mason and Frankamp into games ahead, while AW3 sat.

    Shortly, Frankamp got a knee injury.

    It was at this time that AW3’s PT seemed likely to rise, but did not.

    Self stuck with a three guard rotation of Tharpe, Selden, and Mason, despite all three struggling during this period.

    Some point after this AW3 was asked by a media person about his status and indicated some thing to the effect that it would not be fair to the team for him to discuss transferring until after the season. From that moment on, at least as far as I can recall, AW3 more or less never got another serious look, and was largely only inserted near the end of a half, or just before a TV time out, to make sure a rotation player did not pick up a foul.

    Asked by media again about his status later in the season, again if I recall correctly, he seemed more circumspect, indicating only something to the effect that he was just working hard and trying to stay ready in case Coach Self ever called on him.

    Starting this off season, I do not recall any comments by Self about AW3, though I have been somewhat less vigilant in reading about the Hawks the last few weeks. Further, speculation among board rats swirls that center Myles Turner and PG Devonte Gregory signing with KU would require someone to transfer in order to have enough scholarships for just those two. Yet there has been nary a peep from AW3, or from Self, that I recall regarding this situation.

    Silence can be deafening, or mean nothing at all.

    It could be an announcement of AW3 transferring is contingent on signing both those players.

    It could mean that someone on the team could give up a scholarship; that has occurred infrequently in the past.

    I have a hunch Turner goes to UT and AW3 stays and surprisingly to some gets some rotation time, if Gregory is signed.


    Whether some like the caliber of our returning bigs, there are four of them plus an OAD recruit: Traylor, Ellis, Lucas, Mickelson and Alexander. That is a lot of bodies to wade through. Texas has two very good ones, but only 3 total to wade through, if I recall correctly. And the second season of his likely TAD experience wherever he goes, would, at UT, be pretty well centered on Turner. Turners’s problem at KU is that there is a significant probability that Self could sign another OAD big next season and Turner could experience what Tarik Black experienced this season. So: I see Turner going to UT.

    But why would that make AW3 a possible rotation player after having been buried so deeply as to be on the verge of being forced into a transfer?

    Self was forced to play non combo’s last season, because he needed a ball handler in the games at all time to compensate for Tharpe vulnerability to Pressure Syndrome on both ends of the floor. That was necessary, because Mason and Frankamp, Self’s only alternatives to Tharpe, were green wood moved from HS 2 guards to D1 PGs. Well, I’m here to disabuse everyone of the notion that it is impossible for a HS 2 to become a D1 PG. It is possible. It just takes about 2-3 years.

    Mason is right at the threshold of being a super, short, X-axis PG. There is absolutely nothing about his game that cannot be fixed over a summer of physical/mental maturity and a lot of hard work and tireless reps. And it is clear that Frank Mason understands he is Rocky getting his big shot against all of the Apollo Creeds of the world. Frank may not have been as quick of a study as everyone hoped for (couldn’t switch from hyperdrive to dish, couldn’t learn when to trigger and not), but intermittently all season long he made afterburner moves not even Tyshawn Taylor had the speed to make, and Tyshawn was lightening his first season too. XTReme agile, quick-footed hyper speed is worth developing, even if it takes till a third season of trying to get it all down, as it took Tyshawn to get to it down. Speed kills. Frank has enough speed to be a mass murderer on wood. He just needs a lot more work on his off hand. He only had one had up to the challenge of enabling his speed. Off hands can be developed as surely as The Twins could learn to jump, and Mario could learn to shoot 40% from trey. Frank just needs to work and work and work at that off hand. He needs to tie his good hand behind his back for the rest of this off season. He needs to eat with it. Type with it. Shoot with it. Fly fish with it. Spin cast with it. Oil paint with it. Dance with it. Write with it. Fly kites with it. Play piano with it. Fence with it. Autoeroticize with it. And then when September gets here, he needs to untie his on-arm and he needs to be running 400 drives a day to the iron with two trainers, or coaches, or cheerleaders, standing there with 10 foot tall plywood cutouts of big men on rollers that he has to drive at and react to in mid air to these moving big men cutouts and dish 200 times right and 200 times left into trash barrels. And every time he misses the trash barrel he has to add one rep. If he does what I am saying, no one on Planet Earth will be able to stop Frank Mason next season with anything but a sniper rifle. Most point guards are born, but Tyshawn Taylor proved some point guards are made. Frank Mason has the compactness that slayr said Tyshawn lacked. Frank Mason was put on this earth to be the embodiment of the X-axis game that slayr has explained to everyone that would read.

    But I have digressed on Frank in pursuit of explaining why AW3 might see rotation time.

    Frank is not alone in the getting better department. Conner Frankamp already showed that he could play the position adequately from a protection, dribbling, and shooting standpoint the last few games. Conner has to build up his fast twitch, as slayr has rightly pointed out. HE WILL. He has excellent hops. He is a brainwashed, monomaniacal, gym rat, coach’s son. He will be able to get in the paint this season some, not enough for him to be the only PG, but enough to keep the pressure on opposing defenses, when asked.

    Next, Devonte Gregory is as good as signed. Gregory is a born point guard, even if he is not recognized as a great one. Born point guard. Ready to plug and play, just not able to put the team on his back. Fine. We have other players with backs ready to carry the team.

    The above means that Self is going to have THREE guys ready to run the point full time by mid season. Three guys that won’t have to have another big time ball handler at the 2 every minute, like a baby needs a pacifier.

    This means Selden, with a good knee, ought to be able to become the create a space and drain it inside/outside scorer that Self expected.

    And Oubre can be somewhat the same at the 3, if he gets his trey gun sighted.

    Now Selden and Oubre are going to need to sit 10 minutes each per game; that’s 20 minutes of backup PT.

    And neither wing position is going to need a pacifier replacement.

    So: if AW3, can get his trey gun sighted, and maybe drop 5 pounds to lean up a little for guarding under the new rules, AW3 looks like a perfect fit for that 20 minutes, whenever the other team is long at 2 and 3, and 10 minutes when they are only long at the 3.

    I almost hope Turner doesn’t come. I want AW3 to get his time in the sun. Self put him into as long of a toughening box sentence for whatever reason, as he put RR in. By god, AW3 needs to be set free. This is the flipping “Bridge Over the River Kaw”!!! How hard do you think AW3 will play when Self finally unleashes him? What loose ball won’t he dive for? What charge won’t he take? What forearm smash won’t he deliver? What trey won’t he drain?

    In an age of soft OADs, AW3’s body and mind are hardened. Let him study Travis Releford’s game.

    Go AW3, Go!!!

    P.S.: Oooooops! I forgot all about Brannen Greene standing in the way of AW3 at the 2 and about Self trying Brannen a bit at the 4 last season, also. Well, that happens sometimes, when you post from emotion. :-)

    Hmmmmm, I don’t want to pull against Brannnen. And I don’t want to give up on AW3. I guess it will be some tough sledding for AW3 given that Brannen beat him out of minutes at the 2-3 in Brannen’s first season. Oh, well, it may come down to a slot behind Oubre for AW3 and only 10 mpg best case. But that would be start on the long road out of the toughening box.

  • @joeloveshawks I agree with you. I just see no scenario that he would play, assuming that coach Self’s thinking remains constant. Obviously Greene, Selden, and CF were above him in the pecking order, and now we add Oubre.

    The redshirt thing is interesting, but man, if you’re Andrew White, you burn that, which means you can’t transfer w/o losing a year of eligibility. He would have to be pretty assured that playing time would be there. Maybe it would.

    But as we speak, Self’s recruiting top dudes for the 2015 and 2016 classes.

    I still think he’s gone.

  • This post is deleted!

  • And by the way, I’m guessing here, but it sounds like your knee cap popped out on your little high jump calamity. I’m quite sure you’re not comparing that to the pounding of D-1 basketball. And I’m glad ice helped, though.

    @HighEliteMajor There you go again assuming you know the facts that you know everything about everyone and everything. My knee was extended 9 degrees the wrong way, a little more than you make it sound, go ahead look at where your foot would be if your knee was 9 degrees the wrong way.

    Your belittlement and entitlement are becoming annoying

  • @JRyman Ok I will leave you alone. No annoyances wanted here.

  • @JRyman I’m a wounded warrior myself. I was still doing high impact stuff to my mid thirties as a single guy. Yes, I am hobbled now but to me it was worth it. I was very competitive and enjoyed getting after it just for fun. And besides I had a great quality of life. All those years I didn’t always know pain from injury. And it went from one extreme to the other.
    Now sports medicine is so advanced.

  • @jaybate 1.0 Thanks for another enjoyable read! Looking forward to more of them, when I travel overseas this summer. Again, thanks.

  • @HighEliteMajor In no way am I looking down on Div 1 bBall. It is brutal-just brutal physical work, and I’ve stated before the big men are now incredible athletes-much more so than in the 70’s.

    That said, Nice of you to back off of the “little high jump injury”. KU’s all time high jump record holder ( 7’ 4" ), now ranked 2nd on the all time KU list had no less than three knee injuries and consequent surgeries. Another all-American jumper on the same team had a major blowout and surgery as well. Training is constant high impact work and heavy heavy squats. I’m talking sets of squats building up to 6x 400 pound 1/2 squats down to a bench. I’ve always wondered how many foot pounds of torque a world class jumper exerts on a jump.

  • @KansasComet

    Thx, Comet. Hope you are going somewhere you enjoy immensely. Overseas travel always gives my life force a reboot. Makes me appreciate the world overseas more, and then makes me appreciate the States even more. I know some like to wait and talk about their travels afterwards, but if you can stand to, send us updates on the great new finds you make over seas.

  • @konkeyDong

    It is concerning. But I suspect Selden is going to get Hudy’s version of Jenny Craig. He is going to be leaned up. Maybe even weigh 5-10 pounds less. Lessening Selden’s load would be the best medicine for Selden’s knees, and for quickening his first step. And as any professional cyclist will tell you, the less weight you have to pull, around the more energy have available to expend on getting ahead. Wayne is big boned, as they say, and so making him a lean, mean fighting machine is not going to make him any less capable of bang ball when needed.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Selden, barring injury, and assuming Selden’s knee is what soured his trey percentage, is going to be the great player of next year’s team. Wayne not only has talent, he seems to have “presence.” This presence should find its own level next season without Wigs around doing freakishly athletic things.

  • @jaybate 1.0 I have to run and can’t reply, but terrific post. Great read.

  • @jaybate 1.0 “Life Force Reboot”. Awesome! That’s exactly what it is. Will definitely give updates. Thanks!

  • We have multiple bodies for the 1 position.

    We have multiple bodies for the 2 position.

    We have multiple bodies for the 3 wing.

    We have multiple bodies for the 4 position.

    We have multiple bodies for the 5 position.

    Why dont we just let Self do what he always does with 2-3 year players, which we finally have a whole classroom full of, and watch who/what/how he develops the rotations. I have little idea who will start, other than Selden, but we have NOW a lot of Hudy + redshirt experience ready to go. And they all have tasted an early-exit defeat.

    I think Oubre will be in a dogfight with White and Greene for mpg, although they could sub for Selden, too.

  • @HighEliteMajor Excellent point!

    Self rushed Embiid back from the knee injury vs. TCU, remember? We had a tough stretch of games. Bad, bad decision. We said it then. Then after that stretch, he sat him for a bit. Damage was done.

    Focusing on winning during the season, perhaps the focus on the oh so important conference title, cost us Embiid in March. And a chance for bigger things

  • @drgnslayr

    I don’t think it is good to give all these freshmen 30+ mpg in their first year of D1. It is such a big jump from HS in physicality… even big football stock players like Selden get banged up too much.

    Maybe Wiggins got advice from his dad to cruise most of the time, but make enough effort and still be the top performer on any given night. Had he put out the maximum effort every game, he’d have burned out by January. I think most of the college players don’t have the luxury of having professional advisers like Wiggins or Embiid. So they must rely on the coaching staff. And ultimately the coaches should be like the mom and dad at school. The kids may be 18, but they are no adults, or most of them.

  • @jaybate 1.0 jb, as you well know, I am not the keenest of X’s and O’s contributors on this site. My coaching was in a very different millieu. However, I do read people and situations well, athletically speaking…I think as well as any poster on this site. Andrew White’s second year minutes appeared to be on the rise until the hip flexor (or whatever). I’m willing to wager that AW3 was reluctant to leap back to action as quickly as Bill Self would have liked. Ergo, another Russ Rob situation, tho of different circumstance. Hardheaded but immensely gifted Brannen Greene was beginning to “get it,” so earned gradual minutes which AW3 might have secured, but for the injury. Tharpe’s mercurial play opened the door for Mason to pounce on available minutes; Frankamp, too, by season’s end. White was lost somewhere down on the end of the pine. I will still be amazed (bewildered?) if AW3 does not transfer. In my humble opinion, he starts for 2/3 of our league squads. (By the way, has any thread yet contained commentary about Royce W. transferring once again, leaving Washington State?)

  • @Wishawk Succinct thinking and commenting re the “mentorship” of our pair of OADers. For a freshman, max effort night after night most probably results in injury or burnout. Even Aaron Miles appeared to undergo senior burnout from seasonlong 35+ minute games (although he hadn’t the advantage of spending 4 years under the trainer tutelage of Andrea Hudy and Co.).

  • @JRyman JR, 2 of the most knowledgeable, verbally gifted and, actually, very best posters on this site bear the social graces of wolverines. Stand your ground, but don’t allow them to get close enough to bite!

  • @REHawk Politely and well stated.

  • @REHawk

    As you well know, Coach, there’s no one on here I respect more than you on all aspects of basketball. You have done it. If you think he should transfer, then I think he should transfer. I am dumb, but not stupid.

    Your self-adopted player and on your pine for life, jaybate 1.0

  • I recall that Self said he didn’t play White as much in 2012-13 because of ball handling. Selden is a worse ball handler than White.

    @HighEliteMajor Are you sure about that? By any measure I’ve seen, not only is Selden a better ball handler than White, it’s not even particularly close. White is significantly under a 1:1 A/TO and takes half as many shots inside the arc as Selden. Selden’s numbers weren’t great, but compared to White, he’s Chris Paul.

  • @konkeyDong

    Don’t want to bore you with this concept of networks/internets as a model for thinking about offensive basketball (or defensive basketball, too, or offense/defense/transition jointly), but you seem someone that might be able to think creatively and effectively about the idea in your spare time sometime down the road if the spirit were to move you. So: in case you missed my short response to you yesterday on the embryonic idea, here is another link. I think I’ve lost too much off my fastball to do the concept justice, so I am recruiting you and anyone else here to take the idea and think more about it. KU Basketball has from its inception always been a hotbed of innovative thinking about the game. There is no reason KUBuckets cannot contribute to KU Basketball remotely. :-)

  • @Wishawk

    “Maybe Wiggins got advice from his dad to cruise most of the time, but make enough effort and still be the top performer on any given night. Had he put out the maximum effort every game, he’d have burned out by January. I think most of the college players don’t have the luxury of having professional advisers like Wiggins or Embiid. So they must rely on the coaching staff. And ultimately the coaches should be like the mom and dad at school. The kids may be 18, but they are no adults, or most of them.”

    I think you are right on the button!

    If we could get Self to use more of his bench, we could give players more rest in every game and then they can play harder in spurts.

    Funny how through many games and parts of the season it seemed that our team lacked hustle… but our guys definitely took on their fair share of bumps and bruises. Even Self talked about the guys needing some healing time now and then.

    I wonder if many of our slow parts of the season were more about the guys being banged up?

    I’ve never understood why we work so hard to recruit depth, then we don’t use it unless we have a dire emergency. We could be running presses all game and forcing teams into our tempo and then tire them out only because we have depth and we use it every game.

  • @ParisHawk

    Gosh… I somehow missed your post until now.

    Right on!

    In this way I think Self needs to modernize. He’s still treating basketball like it is the same game he played at OSU in 1982. Back then it was the mentality to play through injuries and “man up.” The game has totally evolved since 1982. Players are trained and coached up to a much higher standard, and with the addition of all those heavily trained fast-twitch muscles comes a different level of injury, because the joints haven’t evolved past 1982, but the tendons and muscles have. That translates into players running faster and jumping higher (evolution of the player), but it also means they take a heck of a lot more battering on their joints not even from contact with other players, only their own contact springing off the floor.

    I’ve had to adjust my own thoughts on the game in recent years. Because I’m near the same generation as Self, and I played for decades, usually 7 days a week. So, naturally, I did play through most of my injuries. But I didn’t have the athleticism of today’s players. I wasn’t springing 45" off the court for a rebound. I couldn’t make all those hard cuts they make today. A modern player against me in my day would run circles around my game… just like they would of Self’s game.

    I’m positive today we are dealing with more hair-line fractures, partial ligament tears, spurs, and what not because these kids are putting their joints through so much more stress than us old timers did with our joints.

    No way most modern, competitive players can play all those decades of basketball like we did. I came out of the game with a major injury, but that came after 30 years of full contact basketball played almost 365 days a year. It appears a certain amount of reduced athleticism helps longevity!

    Self should play more players and distribute minutes a big broader. That will create better depth for us in March, but will also help reduce injuries for our starters. We can be competitive using more players, and then run them harder with presses and aggressive play. That should counteract any decline in play because we are playing more minutes with lesser talent.

  • @konkeyDong

    I agree, Selden is a much better ball handler than White. What Self said about White at the time was:

    “He’s getting tougher,” Self said. “Andrew’s getting tougher. He’s a competitive kid. Andrew’s going to be OK. You look at our team. Does Andrew deserve from a talent standpoint to play more? Absolutely. No question. But you look at our team, what’s our biggest need?”

    Better ball-handling and passing.

    “Now you’re putting in a guy who doesn’t do that as well as some other guys,” Self said. “If we were more consistent handling and passing the ball, Andrew White would be playing more. But that’s not really Travis’ forte. That’s not Ben’s forte, so it needs to be Elijah (Johnson) and Naadir (Tharpe’s) forte.”

    To me it means that, at the time the comment was made, White was not able to handle the ball well enough to create his own shot or pass the ball well enough to create scoring opportunities for other players, in other words, he is/was just a shooter. At KU he plays that hybrid SG-SF position much like Releford did, although Releford was a much better passer and rebounderl. Many outstanding shooters, such as Reggie Miller and Ray Allen were not know for their ball handling but for the ability to receive the ball and shoot effectively from outside and use that threat to penetrate when needed. Hopefully this summer White can improve his ball handling and passing skills and get meaningful playing time; if he can become a consistent threat from the outside without sacrificing to much in other areas, he could well be a significant contributor…or he can transfer to Wake Forest and play for Manning. :)

  • @drgnslayr

    I’ve never understood why we work so hard to recruit depth, then we don’t use it unless we have a dire emergency. We could be running presses all game and forcing teams into our tempo and then tire them out only because we have depth and we use it every game.

    Depth is like insurance, you hope you never have to use it but it is comforting to know that if you ever need it…it is there.

  • @JayHawkFanToo To add to your statement, you have to be able to move without the ball. YOu have to be able to use screens, run angles, know where the open spot on the floor is and where it is going to be when the D shifts.

    You brought up Reggie Miller, he moved without the ball and could come off a screen catch and shoot. More recently Doug McDermott, he was constantly moving, if you switched on a screen he’d post up smaller guys, but he found open spaces on the floor where teammates could get him the ball.

    Being a spot up shooter in todays game is risky because defenders are quick and long.

  • @drgnslayr I don’t understand the sudden disgust with OADS or with freshman getting so much playing time–as if this were something new. As far back as 1994-95, Raef LaFrentz averaged 23.6 mpg. Later averages were: Paul Pierce–25.4 mpg; Kirk Hinrich --21.3; Nick Collison–22.8; Drew Gooden–20.8; Brandon Rush–31.7; Mario Chalmers–26.3; Sherron Collins–22.3. There were other freshmen who had substantial playing time who I have forgotten or not mentioned.

    Neither Coach Williams nor Coach Self refused to play freshmen because they were looking at a “big picture.” They were not playing because neither coach felt they contribute enough at that time to help win more games.

    I don’t recall so many complaints about the way those freshmen were used. But now that a season in which some expected better results in the tournament came to a disappointing close–there are a number who jump on the bandwagon and essentially declare it to be a problem with the way Self is using freshmen. Just doesn’t make sense.

  • @HighEliteMajor I agree with you assessment on Self playing Embiid way too soon. Self can see he wasn’t 100%, so why risk further injury when March run was round the corner? Also, I do not agree with Self’s “toughening” philosophy of playing injured players. Tyshawn, Elijah, Selden all played with injuries and didn’t they play 1 & 2 during their career at KU? Is this a reputation that Self carries and perhaps why he can’t get 5* PG to come to KU?

    Another observation - did you ever notice how Naa’s eyes were drooping last year? His eye lids would hang down & cover half of his eyes, and that looked so strange. I noticed again, but as the season went on his eyes looked normal - except a few times. It looked so weird (i.e. those with bad face lift strange) that I made a mental note. Any thoughts on that or is it my vision?

  • How coaches handle injuries is a huge pet peeve of mine, especially for non-professional players.

    Playing hurt in high school or college may endear you to a coach, but it could have longterm effects, either on your personal health and well being, or on your future earning potential should you be fortunate enough to have the talent to play professionally.

    Perhaps this goes back to my own personal experience. In high school I had a pretty significant high ankle sprain. I probably should have been on the shelf for at least 2-3 weeks, but, because we already had lost a couple other starters to injuries, I was asked to play. Being a team player, I agreed and played on an ankle that was roughly the size of a grapefruit for basically two weeks. I finally started getting healthy and guess what - I was benched in favor of the guys that had been sitting out because I had not been playing at the top of my game due to the injury because I could barely run or jump.

    If I had to do it all over, I would sit for at least a week, probably two in order to get healthy. There was no reward for “gutting it out.” I just provided a bridge until some guys got healthy, then fell out of the rotation for a month, even though I was healthy and playing well by that time. Still, my coach pointed to some of my early season performances that were uneven as a reason for cutting my minutes (one of the reasons I haven’t spoken to him in almost 15 years).

    I think guys should sit if they aren’t healthy, especially early in the season. Playing when you’re dinged up in October won’t help you, because you aren’t going to get better playing or practicing every day. Hopefully Selden hasn’t caused any lasting damage to his knees by playing basically the entire season on a bad wheel.

  • @drgnslayr "Self should play more players and distribute minutes a big broader. That will create better depth for us in March, but will also help reduce injuries for our starters. We can be competitive using more players, and then run them harder with presses and aggressive play. That should counteract any decline in play because we are playing more minutes with lesser talent."

    Well said. Otherwise, why have a depth? Plus, if we play more players, wouldn’t that mean our opponents would have to spend more time on scouting reports in March when time is limited? Maximizing internal resources for highest return is the coach/leader’s job. I like Self, and modifying his strategy a bit won’t hurt - UConn grabbed its 4th with lesser talents, 2 NC in less than 5 years ('11, '14) while we got 10 B12? Hopefully Self will be glad to sacrifice the B12 championships for another NC or two or three or more. Think he can do it, if he modifies a bit - like dropping Combo Guards and going after PG! oops, my March memory is coming back…

  • @drgnslayr I agree our team looked like one with the deepest bench at the beginning of the season, but somehow we couldn’t find enough players to step up starting January. It may be they were banged up or maybe Coach Self’s philosophy of not allowing players to learn on the job really hurt what he tries to accomplish. He needs to manage the personnel better and maximize all available resources. It’s probably not a comparable situation to professional soccer. Look at Ozil of Arsenal. Arsenal had many stars, but the manager didn’t rest his star player early during the season and got him burned out. Now Arsenal is struggling to make top four in the Premier League. Had he managed his players better, Arsenal might be strong toward the end of the season and challenging for the title in England. I think there is some parallel between Arsenal and KU. Both have great coaches and great players, both have very consistent performance and great regular seasons, but somehow both under perform at the end of the seasons.

  • @HawksWin Developing a bench is a good thing, but when the talent gap between the starters and the bench is vast, it makes sense to play your best players the most minutes. This is not a point made regarding the prevention of injuries, but more to your other points about the benefits. I mean, you point to UConn, do you think Kevin Ollie was sitting Napier, Boatwright, & Daniels in lieu of bench players? Napier - 35.1 mpg. Boatwright - 32.4 mpg. Daniels - 29.0 mpg. Compare that to KU’s top minute garners - Wiggins - 32.8 mpg. Tharpe - 29.4 mpg. Selden - 29.2 mpg. Kentucky had 4 players (all freshman) average over 30 mpg. Wisconsin had 3 players average over 30 mpg and one average 29.8 mpg. Florida had two players average over 30 mpg, and their third leading player in terms of mpg averaged 27.9.

    The point being what seems to work across all systems is playing your best players as much as possible. KU had 8 players average double digits in minutes played. So did all 4 Final 4 teams. Arizona had 7. Syracuse (who spent time this year ranked #1) had 8. Michigan St. - 8. Duke - 7. Virginia - 8 (barely, one player just above 10 mpg). The average seems to be playing 8 players. The only exceptions among top teams I found were Wichita St., Louisville, & Michigan all had 9 players average double digit mpg. Wichita St. can be explained by playing a cupcake schedule in which they were routinely blowing opponents out, which gives you the luxury of going down the bench one further. Louisville can be explained by their system, which both tires guys out more from their relentless play and also gets players in foul trouble quicker. Michigan seems to be the aberration.

    So the argument really is that some want Self to change his system. I myself have been in favor of mixing in more traps, presses, zones, etc. But not as a complete system change, but as a change-up. I don’t think this requires a major philosophical shift in terms of minute distribution. In KU’s two most successful season’s under Self how many has he played? In '08 we had 8 players average double digit minutes, and the 8th was Roderick Stewart with 11.6 mpg, many of his minutes coming early in the season while filling in for Rush. And in '12 we had an iron man team, with only 7 averaging double digit minutes. Kevin Young averaged 11.4, while 4 starters averaged over 30.

    Despite all other adjustments suggested, I think the problem we had this past season is staring us right in the face: Tharpe - 29.4 mpg. The argument can and has been made that Self should seriously cut those minutes next season and that we must have a capable point guard. Everything else discussed - distribution of minutes, style of play, OADs being ill-suited for success in Self’s system - is secondary, and really we cannot begin to diagnose if any of these other issues being discussed are genuine issues until the problem of point guard is addressed.

  • @icthawkfan316 You got it. I don’t understand why the other issues are mentioned unless and until the pg problem is addressed. Fixing them won’t take care of the problem. Unless that is addressed, next year is going to be a big disappointment as well.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Most every coach including Self always indicate that their goal is to have a rotation of 7-8 players and no more. It takes time and effort to have the players learn to play with each other and become aware of the little things that make the team work like a well oiled machine. If you start playing more than 7 or 8 players you introduce variables that decrease the efficiency of the team as a whole.

    At the beginning of the season Coach Self indicated, half-jokingly, that this year he might have a bigger rotation in view of the talent available, but when the rubber hit the road, it went back to the rotation he has always used; not really a big surprise.

    As I said, I have heard several big time coaches indicate the same approach, Coach K, Pitino, Izzo, Wright come to mind.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Right. That was the point I was trying to make by illustrating how many other programs have their rotations at 8 players. That while I had never heard any other coaches talk about their player rotations (mainly because I don’t care to follow any other programs closely enough), that you could see the empirical proof that 7-8 is the standard.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Agreed. Coach Self is doing what every other coach does.

  • @icthawkfan316 Regarding playing 8 players, I agree and disagree. Agree is because what you illustrated while disagree is because what happened to Selden, Embiid, etc. When a player is hurt, the coach should rest him until he is recovered. While the hurt player is rested, it is time for the next bench player to come on board and learn the ropes. So we still have 8 players in the rotation. I think it is beneficial to the team, the hurt player, and the bench player to rotate. If the recovered player comes back and proves better than the bench player, the bench player goes back to the bench. We gain a healthy player, and an experienced bench player. What’s there to lose? I think without a developed bench, it leaves holes in March. And we leave our fate to chances that all the rotational players are healthy at the end of the season. What if Embiid were rested a month earlier and were available for March? Or Selden in December? I think we’d have much better chance of having Greene, White and Lucas developed as reliable backups for March. And we might go a little further than we did.

  • Truthfully, I did not fully realize until Tournament Time (Big 12 and NCAA) that Tharpe’s mercurial inconsistencies would contibute so heavily to doom what was left of this squad after Embiid was forced to sit. Mason might have maxed out for his freshman potential; Frankamp barely touched his surface potential, delivering startling A/T stats in crunch time. The guy I thought all along needed perhaps an additional 3 min. per game average was Greene, who appeared to be a difficult study for the coaching staff. In my humble opinion, Greene’s potential is off the charts. Too many freshmen for Self to develop and maneuver this season…

  • @REHawk Great thoughts about Greene. I think he’s got BIG potential, although we didnt see him dribble-drive as much as Wiggins. I think Brannen Greene(top30) and Wayne Selden(MickeyD), (& AW3( top50), if he stays) are foundation players for Bill Self, as are Mason(50ish), Frankamp(top30), Traylor, Lucas, Mickelson (top50). I mean thats a collection of 1- thru 5-position players, gathering experience & reps, irrespective of what the possible OADs do. If the OADs want to stay, “great, come join the family” (instead of staying in the guest bedroom x 9mos).

    Give me the 2ADs (better) and the 3ADs (best) in Self’s system: Next season is going to be FUN!!

  • @ralster Wigs was rarely if ever on a leash. By the end of Feb. Brannen KNEW that if he ventured far from his box he would submit to another choke collar, way down the pine. I think that Self had best let up on Greene early this next season, allow him to do what he does best: bring immediate Kevin Young-like energy onto the floor while keeping his body in constant motion. He will still race into some mindboggling turnovers, but the upside will compensate. If he and Self can mesh, I look to see Brannen cement his spot in the starting lineup by year 3. If he stays a 4th season, somewhere along the way he will be adorned with a national championship ring and become a first round draft choice. I am as certain of that as I am that Tharpe cannot start and lead the Jayhawks to March and April tournament titles. Naadir might do one hell of a strong job coming off the bench, but he can’t begin to compete against the likes of Napier or those cocky Kentucky twins.

  • @REHawk Agreed. Wigs was given Rush-rules of mpg, including that rare gift of mistake-forgiveness. All others courttime lives and dies by the QuickHook. Even junior Tharpe sufferred the Hook early/often/and most unfortunately, in our final, floundering, headless game against the likes of Stanford: Tharpe had to sit-&-squirm next to Self, while Frankamp valiantly went down swinging. Guardplay and defense woes sunk us early.

    But, on the bright side, getting a fiery-red “L” tattooed in your memory in the Round of 32 has a real nice way of motivating young cocky frosh. Now when Self talks, they know. Now they gained perspective and purpose.

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