Truths, damned truths, and more statistics

  • Post edited to fix formatting

    In the postmortem of the season, I threw down a gauntlet to posters clambering for change in Self’s system. I said that it wasn’t enough to enough to simply make claims about what was a better way to run a team, or to rely on maxims and buzz words as justification for comments. After all, saying Self got ‘out coached’ in such and such a game, whether it’s accurate or not, doesn’t really say anything meaningful about why a loss happened or how it could be prevented in the future just as much as saying ‘Self is a genius’ when he wins is not in any way instructive. @HighEliteMajor took up that gauntlet, to his credit, and offered a seven point plan and why he thinks his changes are better. Unfortunately for me, I have been super busy the past few weeks and have only had time to drop in some recruiting nuggets as I got them, so my apologies HEM, but here’s my response:

    As many of you have know, and some of you, oddly enough, have criticized me for, I’m a numbers guy. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the phrase ‘lies, damned lies, and more statistics’, but the fact of the matter is that numbers don’t lie, people do. Yes, numbers can be manipulated selectively to reinforce a wrong headed point, but the beauty part of statistical evidence is that when someone offers a set of compiled data, it can be reviewed, revealing omissions, errors, and falsehoods. To that end, I’m going to quote some numbers from,, and refer to some of the ideas for KU’s offense that Jesse Newell brought up. Here’s HEM’s original list:

    1. Expanded Zone Offense: No surprise here. Our zone offense is stagnant many times. Two simple elements of focus, and a third necessity. First, more active screening. By and large, KU’s zone offense only screens near the top of zone for the lead guard, or on the back line to set up a lob dunk. Active screening across lane and at the wing can create more seams for penetration and lanes for entry passes. Second, ensuring that our lineup always has a clear and present three point threat. The classic zone buster. Always. And free that zone buster to shoot. Third, we have to have skilled scorers at the high post. Can’t beat the zone if you’re feeding a guy who can’t score from the free throw line.

    2. Pace of Game: When coach Self arrived, there was this fear that he would play a slow brand of basketball. It isn’t a fear any longer – it’s just fact. Self doesn’t not really encourage a fast paced game. He may say that he wants a faster pace, but his actions discourage it. Turnovers cause you to find the bench. Quick shots? Look out for the hook. Who throws the ball in? Oh, the guy we have designated to throw the ball in. Press? Nope, too risky that we’ll give up an easy basket. Aggressive press break? Not the usual gameplan – slow, methodical passing. Random, targeted trapping? Rarely – simple man to man will do. Note to Self: Take advantage of your athletic superiority. When you play a slower game, you permit less skilled teams to remain a part of the game. Strategic use of the press is a must. Is there risk? Sure. But there seems to be more risk in being conservative, particularly in March. Further, playing at a faster pace regularly will make it much easier to deal with teams that play fast in the tournament.

    3. Valuing The Basketball: This change is important. I understand that the easy approach is to simply conclude that all turnovers are bad. However, in my view, the over emphasis on valuing the basketball has inhibited our offensive growth – it has been a horse collar to this team. It is a climate of unacceptability that appears to make guys play tight. Yes, turnovers are not good. But they aren’t always bad. In fact, 15 turnovers can be much better than 7 turnovers. It all depends on the amount of possessions in a game and the pace of the game, and what that pace of game does to your opponent. A team that doesn’t turn the ball over is usually not playing aggressive enough. This goes hand in hand with the prior paragraph on Pace of Game. Increasing the pace will generally increase turnovers. But that change in pace will also affect our opponent. If we are playing a team that wants to play slowly, there is usually a reason why. The most common explanation is that it’s because the opposing coach knows that the fewer possessions, the more chance that he has to stay in a game against a team with more highly skilled players. Wouldn’t that be what you would do if you played KU? To me, this is why we have been susceptible to upsets. Coach Self permits opposing teams to dictate pace and style of play. The Texas Tech game at Lubbock this season was a classic example. UNI was another. Coach Self would be well served to adjust his mindset and be willing to accept more turnovers. Again, we don’t want turnovers. But sometimes, turnovers are indicative of aggressiveness. It is a necessary evil, but not one to overreact to.

    4. Take Advantage of Match-ups: Undoubtedly, this is an area where our current system fails – unless, by default, we have a match-up advantage on the post. Sometimes that match-up might be our shooting guard isolated on his defender, or our point guard taking a smaller guy to the block, or Ellis taking a bulky four man out on the wing. Taking advantage of match-ups to exploit scoring opportunities creates a more dynamic offense. This is a pretty simple concept, but one Self’s system routinely fails to incorporate. Similarly, playing small creates incredible match-up problems for opponents. We saw it first hand against MU in 2012. We simply couldn’t have Withey and TRob on the floor together for long stretches due to MU having Kim English at the four. Self is resistant to playing anything but a conventional attack. Sometimes match-ups dictate something different.

    5. Be Bold: Coach Self is notoriously slow to adjust. His belief, which is not an uncommon coaching trait, is to most times “do what we do”, with faith that it will prevail. I just ask coach Self to trust his instincts. If it appears that an adjustment might work, side with boldness instead of the conservative path. We have history that supports that, too. On our final four run in 2012, coach Self boldly utilized the triangle and two. I think with the 2012 team he felt that because of the lack of depth, he had to think outside of the box. Boldness includes pressing, playing small, going with the hot hand – anything that rocks the boat. My suggestion is to always think out of the box. What limits boldness? Fear and arrogance. Fear that moves will fail, and arrogance that “system” will ultimately prevail. I ask that coach Self discard the chains that limit boldness.

    6. Accept Zone Defense: This is came up early in the season – many, including myself, felt that an “all in” switch to zone defense with our personnel would have been the best move for the Jayhawks. We had a young team. We had a big, back line defender in Embiid. We had a three who was long and athletic. We had a point guard and four that couldn’t defend. And we had a post player (Black) who was in constant foul trouble. Coach Self is a strong believer in man to man defense. But that strong belief prevents him from freeing his mind. This past version of the Jayhawks was by far the worst defensive team at KU under coach Self. There was simply no way Self could cover for Tharpe, and the numerous times he compromised our defense. Then, on the back line, Ellis was soft and largely ineffective. Add to that a team devoid of veteran defensive leaders who had played under Self, and our defense was a disaster. We played multiple teams that ran zone. Louisville ran large doses of zone on its way to the 2013 title. UConn played zone. UK played some zone. Florida played lots of zone. But somehow, coach Self concludes that zone won’t work here. That simply lacks any logic. Brilliant coaches run it. Championship teams use it. Somehow other teams can run both. But we can’t. Zone defense needs to be accepted as a realistic alternative.

    7. Cultivate Three Point Shooting: One concern is that coach Self fails to cultivate three point shooters. There doesn’t seem to be a urgency on Self’s part to play a dead-eye shooter. And shooters are faced with the famous quick hook. Cultivation of three point shooters requires a coach to understand that a shooter needs freedom. It’s not like a power forward pivoting and scoring on a post move. A shooter has to have a mind that is free of doubt. A coach has to offer freedom, has to accept misses, and has to accept shots that may be taken before a post entry pass is attempted. Just a touch more flexibility. Three point shooting can, and many times does, dominate the college game. In March, there are times when you catch a hot shooting team. We have to be prepared to have an answer. For KU to play at its maximum potential, there has to be a bit of leniency here by coach Self. We’ve seen vaunted three point shooters struggle here. Giving the shooters a touch more leeway is a great start.

    1. Expanded Zone Offense: I don’t have much to say about this other than that, prior to this year, Self’s teams haven’t uniformly struggled to attack zones effectively. In fact, beating zones has been a real strong point in the Self era, including against teams the play zone as their primary D. The 2007 team beat Florida’s zone. The 2009 team lost to Syracuse only after Boeheim switched to man D. The same was true of the 2012 team when they faced Baylor for the third time that season. That said, none of these suggestions are bad, but I think the real difference this year was more on the personnel end and less a matter of the strategy. As our shooters improve and as we get more leadership and better play out of the PG spot, we’ll see the return to form.

    2. Pace of the Game: Saying that Self plays a slow brand of ball really is completely untrue. KU teams under Self have finished in the top 100 of adjusted tempo in 9 of 11 seasons. The two slowest? The 2005 team finished #163 in Kenpom’s tempo rating, and the 2008 team finished 136. The fastest was the 2011 team, finishing at 55. Now, it is true that Self’s teams play significantly slower than William’s brand of ball, but it’s not like we went from being Paul Westhead’s LMU to being Bo Ryan’s Wisconsin. We went from being a secondary break team to a mixed tempo team. Further, that slow down may actually be a good thing. Just doing an overview of NCAA champions in the years that Kenpom covers, only 3 of the past 13 finished in the top 25 for tempo. Not surprisingly, those teams were Roy’s two UNC title teams, which both finished in 8th place for tempo, and Maryland’s 2002 team which finished 16th. Not only do most other championship teams play slower than Roy Williams, most of them play slower than Self does too. In fact, the median tempo ranking for the rest of the title teams is 142.6. Even factoring in everyone, it raises to only 112.2. If the goal of this exercise is to examine changes that would improve our chances at cutting down the nets, then I suggest to you that the tempo doesn’t matter much, and if it does, recent history would suggest that playing more deliberately is the way to go. I’d also point out two other things that raise my eyebrows. HEM suggests that playing at a faster pace will help us deal with teams that play at a faster pace in March, but those teams are the ones that we’ve tended to beat. Every team that has upset us has played at a slower average tempo than us not a faster tempo (including VCU). I’d also point out that pressing slows the game down rather than speeds it up. While there are teams that both press and play fast (Maryland comes to mind, as do Mike Anderson’s teams), increasing the tempo of the game is usually achieved by shooting quickly. Although it may seem like pressing gets teams ‘sped up’, it actually reduces the number of possessions in the game. Why? Well, although it’s true that you can either get a quick steal and score while pressing or get punished by a good press break, what happens on most possessions is the pressed team simply gets the ball past the halfcourt line and the pressing team falls back into their halfcourt defense. This does make teams run their offense in a shorter amount of time, but the reality is that they just end up using more of the shot clock, not that they actually shoot faster than they would were they not pressed.

    3. Valuing The Basketball: I’ll say, this if a first in the history of college bball, suggesting that a team overvalues the ball. While I get the point that not all TOs are bad and that the sheer number of TOs doesn’t tell the story, statsheet does, and it’s not good for this theory. The average TO% for title teams in the past 13 seasons is 18.6%, and that number’s been trending down recently. Self coached teams in that span (including Illinois) have averaged a 20% TO rate. The only teams to finish with over a 20% TO rate on the season and an NCAA title were the back-to-back UF teams that finished at 20.9% in each of those seasons. Now, I get that there could be an argument made that giving a kid the quick hook makes them play tight and makes them more TO prone, rather than less, but that’s the only way to justify not taking corrective action. Whatever conclusions you draw from that, though, it’s clear that we need to turn the ball over a lot less than we have been. Unsurprisingly, this is the same thing Newell concluded in his article about improving our offense.

    4. Take advantage of Match-ups: I generally agree here and recent talk from Self makes me the he does too. He’s talked about playing one of our many wings at the 4 for an extended period. This may be his plan for AW3, and would explain why his transfer hasn’t been announced yet. He also talked about trying Selden at the point to create Deandre Kane/Marcus Smart type mismatches there. Selden wasn’t particularly good at posting up smaller guards (and this was only tried a little bit at the beginning of last season), but it’s certainly something he could add to his game this year.

    5. Be Bold: Boldness isn’t something that’s easily measured, so I don’t really have much to say for or against it statistically, but the suggestion to ‘always think out of the box’ gives me pause. Thinking outside the box certainly can be good, but the box exists for a reason. Boldness is salt. A little goes a long way. Too much, though, is the fastest road to ruin.

    6. Accept Zone Defense: I definitely felt like we needed to have a zone D that we could run without Embiid in the game, but I certainly wasn’t in favor of an ‘all in’ switch to zone. Although this team was the worst defensive team of the Self era, let’s not overstate the problem. That worst team finished ranked 34th in defensive efficiency on Kenpom. That’s not title team material, but it’s not an all-hands-on-deck situation either. It’s also not strictly speaking true that Self is anti-zone. His past teams have played some zone, but generally, he’s reserved using it for games where we’re having trouble guarding a player (like Derrick Rose in 2008 or Robbie Hummel in 2012). Clearly, though, time is spent on it. He had a 3-2 zone this season, but the big problem was that it was worse than the below-standards man D. I thought he could work a triangle and 2. HEM thought a 1-3-1 would be best. Either way, though, my guess as to why zone went away this year altogether is that the 3-2 went so abysmally that Self gave up on spending time on it when there were so many other things that demanded attention with this team. As for how it affects our post season, 8 of the past 13 title teams played man to man as their primary half-court D, and of the ones that played zone, 4 of 5 were zone/press teams (Maryland, UF x2, and 'ville). Syracuse is the lone straight zone team to win it all in recent history. It makes sense to me, though, that zone press teams are more successful given what pressing does to begin with. The biggest problem with running zones is that they can be exposed by shifting the ball around, so if there’s less time available to open up a seam in the zone, there’s a lesser chance that it gets scored on. Given that, if you truly want to be all in on zone, then a zone/press is probably the way to go. @jaybate 1.0 has suggested that morphing Ds will be the future. He may be right, but statistics don’t exist for the future, and no team playing a true morphing D has won it all yet (though Florida used a mix of zone and trapping man after the press). That said, I’m fine with zone as an ‘as needed’ option. To date, no one has shown me the data to suggest that switching up to ‘throw off’ the opponent is a significantly better plan.

    7. Cultivate Three Point Shooting: Newell touched on this point and there’s no denying it: KU under Self has pretty consistently had a lower 3PA% than most teams and certainly every other championship team. Now remember what I said about numbers not lying, but people doing it? Newell doesn’t quite lie, but he makes a critical error in explaining why he thinks shooting more threes is important. He points out that given the NCAA averages for shooting % on 2pt and 3pt field goals, 3 pointers are more efficient, yielding 1.035 ppp vs .97 for 2 pointers. This, however, is a really misleading statistic because it lumps all 2pt shots together, when there are really two distinct types: shots at the rim, and 2pt jump shots. Most stats lump these things together, but the good folks at hoop-math break it out (unfortunately, though, they only have 3 years worth of data), and when you see the break out two things become clear: first, the reason 2 pointers are less efficient as a whole is that the average FG% on 2pt jump shots isn’t much higher than it is for 3 pointers without the added benefit of the extra point; and second, the 3 pointers that Self is giving up are largely becoming shots at the rim, and these shots are a LOT more efficient than even 3s. Looking at this year’s numbers alone, KU took nearly 5% more shots at the rim than average D-1 teams and shot over 6% better on those looks for a total of 1.34 ppp on those shots. Even average teams get 1.21 ppp on shots at the rim, so I think Self’s dogged determination to get the ball inside to score really is the best idea. That said, we do still need credible 3pt shooters to keep defenses honest, and that’s something that was sorely missing this year. Even our guys that were designated gunners didn’t shoot all that well, and we finished slightly under the average for a D-1 team from deep. Does that mean accepting quick 3s? I’m not sure that’s the answer. If I had a subscription to Synergy Sports and the time, I’d figure it out, but I’m out of luck on both counts. What I will say is that all too often I saw our shooters pass up open 3s to go back inside after the ball came out. They should all have the green light at that time, I would hope. There were also a few times (like Mason’s needless shot fake and drive to the basket after Traylor’s steal off the press during the Stanford game when there were two defenders in the paint and no one near him) where players should obviously have taken a quick 3 rather than looked to go inside. That said, I only recall players with carte blanche shooting immunity after they’d become highly trusted (the Morris twins as Jrs were allowed to take trailing 3s, Sr. Tyshawn could should as much as he wanted, EJ wasn’t gun shy, and even Selden didn’t get benched for shooting quickly this year), so it’s really an individual thing as best as I can tell.

    If HEM’s message to Self this off-season is ‘free your mind’, my message is ‘do the maths’. Newell pointed out to an irate poster in his article that data-driven paradigms in sports are really only in their infancy. There’s a long way to go and a lot that can be achieved with new models. As key as someone like Andrea Hudy has been for KU’s consistent success, we may be in want of a brain builder to match what we’ve gained from our resident body builder. With the resources and data at his disposal, I’m sure Self could get a lot more out of a good quant than what I can glean just from reading raw data.

    Lastly, @jaybate 1.0, I saw your post about network models of guard play and I’m totally intrigued but haven’t had a chance to give it much thought. Keep it in the back of your brain for the fall, cause I’m sure I’ll want to revisit it then.

  • @konkeyDong thanks for the analysis. I have a short window here this morning so I’ll try to hit on a few of your points that I might disagree with. I will say that your formatting got messed up. Under “8. Expanded Zone Offense”, it appears you are quoting me. That is not my quote obviously. That appears to be your response.

    1. Pace of Game: My point was that Self’s approach discourages a faster pace of game. That is, the quick hook for a turnover or quick shot. Not saying that is all bad. But the quick shot isn’t all bad either, particularly for three point shooters. We don’t immediately inbound the ball after a made basket and push it up the floor. Further, we don’t execute an aggressive press break with a “score” mentality. I did not suggest that we press all the time, or even 50% of time. I suggested that “strategic use of the press is a must.” Further, the use of targeted trapping more often. All of this can increase the pace of the game. You are correct. Using a press all the time can slow it down, depending upon the response of the offense. But using in sporadically can have the effect of speeding up the opponent, catching them off guard. But it can also create turnovers. “Pace of Game” is nothing more than trying to increase your offensive possessions, and making the opponents possessions less valuable. Dictating the flow of the game. We permitted Texas Tech to control the game pace. We can’t let that happen. I think @konkeyDong has it right. I like coach Roy’s offensive game plan. It can win NCAA titles. And grouped with coach Self’s defensive philosophy, I think it would be an unbeatable combo. They can exist together.

    2. Valuing the basketball: I’m not advocating a turnover happy team. All I have suggested is that it not be the know all, say all. This was all I said in conclusion: “Coach Self would be well served to adjust his mindset and be willing to accept more turnovers. Again, we don’t want turnovers. But sometimes, turnovers are indicative of aggressiveness. It is a necessary evil, but not one to overreact to.” – To be more aggressive means more turnovers. And that may not be all bad.

    3. Zone Defense: Like kD, I am not an advocate of switching to zone as our core philosophy. I was this past season. I cannot say that zone would have given us a national title, but I can tell you that man to man did not. And I can tell you what I say, and what our defensive points per game rankings were last season. My sole point was to use zone as needed, citing other championship teams that have done so. Again, I am not suggesting to switch our philosophy to a zone team. We can use zone as part of our overall defensive approach, as needed, just like other teams do.

  • @konkeyDong Great stuff. Breakfast of Champions. I think he turns over the team to Devonte in quick order. I think we have a great opportunity to be much quicker than last year. I’d love to see more screens, but I do wonder if having Devonte, Oubre, and a healthy Selden driving to the basket won’t open up some gaping holes as well. It would be nice to see some screen action on the perimeter, but that would only work if he quits using the quick hook, and lets the kid relax, and find their shots.

    Two years of sloppy point guard play has left a few marks on all of us. Neither EJ, nor Dr. Tharpe were playing their natural position, and it showed. Devonte’ is the game changer, imo. He will take control of this team nearly immediately, and will change the way we play for the better. Just try and trap that kid. He will eat it alive.

  • Self has shown he can accept more turnovers. e.g., Tyshawn’s senior season. Early in the season, Tyshawn was getting crucified on the boards for his high numbers of turnovers. But apparently he was following Self’s direction to be more aggressive. Turnovers were the byproduct, but Self was able to live with them. As the season wore on, the turnover rate decreased while the aggressiveness remained, and that aggressiveness was largely why we made it to the championship game.

    Of course, Tyshawn was a senior, and Bill gives a lot more leeway to his seniors (as has been noted many times). The point is, he has shown he is able to accept a higher turnover percentage (selectively).

    I’ll also point out that HEM and konkeyDong don’t really disagree on this point. HEM just says it’s the turnover rate (per possession), not the number of turnovers (per game), that should be emphasized, and TO% is the stat used by konkeyDong.

    Using data is indeed the only way to have meaningful debate on these issues. Kudos to both of you, great stuff.

  • PHOF.


    In QA we look backward to find drivers and constraints.

    Then we look forward with those drivers into changing (or unchanging) constraints.

    Then we design solutions (teams) tailored to those drivers to operate efficiently within those constraints.

    Then we measure degree of fit with context and driver efficiency in operation and production.

    Then we iterate till we get the degree of fit and driver efficiency in “satisficing” trade off.

    Then we win.

    Most of the time.

    Random error (error beyond our ability to anticipate and/or measure and control for) is so far inextinguishable amidst complexity.

    Next: I don’t want anyone to misread your comment about Jesse almost lying. Lying to me connotes and denotes intent to deceive and misrepresent. What Jesse did was leave a his best intended effort at a quantitative bread crumb trail that enabled you to follow down it and take an unfitting oversimplification of his out of his conclusion.

    This is exactly what is supposed to happen science and QA.

    Science, especially the QA end of it, is (or should be) about not having to reinvent wheels, unless they don’t work.

    What you did is necessarily an outgrowth of the legacy of Jesse’s and HEM’s thinking on this issue.

    In science, to be wrong understandably is the next best thing to being right understandably. And all rightness is science is really just sufficient degree of fit with context for now.

    Lack of understanding of how we did what we did is the great obstacle slowing all human development to a crawl. What we don’t know we don’t know makes us wholly dependent on dumb luck for fitting development. Getting to the point of knowing what we don’t know is the beginning of knowledge driven development. Basketball needs knowledge driven development. You and Jesse are BOTH contributing.

    I know you know what I am talking about here, but I have learned over the years that there are many persons that want to be a part of the scientific endeavor that simply need a friendly hand offered in the form of a brief introduction in this regard. So consider this part not for you.

    Science and scientific progress are fundamentally collaborative and cooperative. Science is NOT a game of winning but of fitting. Science occurs in a conflicted and competitive context. Conflicted competitors fund it. Scientists themselves can become conflicted competitors, because they are chasing scarce resources to do their work. But these are the great contextual impediments to science that scientists must survive and negotiate in order to do the fundamentally collaborative work that they do.

    Once one begins to understand that all science is built on the thought work of what has come before; that one owes a profound debt to the most ill-fitting of prior solutions in science, so long as they were proposed coherently and explicitly enough to be found to be have inadequate fit to remain useful later by one’s self, or one’s colleagues, then one can become a better scientist/thinker by shedding scales of ego from one’s eyes and scientific mind. Scientists and ballers and board rats need some swagger, but not too much. 🙂

    Jesse oversimplified in a way that helped you to find a more fitting solution.

    Without him, and HEM, you might not have thought to explain it; this is one of the most curious and counter intuitive aspects of science to non scientists.

    Most scientific discoveries arise from preceding inadequate/incomplete systematic explanations.

    And most scientific discoveries have within them the seeds of inadequacy and incompleteness that will trigger the next advance, when need arises.

    Science desperately needs ill-fitting, incomplete, inadequate but coherent solutions. It needs as many as possible. Every inadequate, incomplete, but coherent solution increases our odds of finding a more adequate, more complete solution. Jordan had to miss a lot of shots to make the ones he needed to win games.

    Some persons that would love science if only they could get over the inhibition of being wrong by seeing that it is okay to be wrong, if you are coherently wrong; i.e., if you are systematic enough in your approach for someone to learn from your work and improve upon it, sometimes benefit from the following metaphor from my own life.

    Once I went out for a long walk in a wilderness area with a friend and got lost. We had no map. No compass. We were so engrossed in an intellectual conversation that we forgot to pay attention to what paths we were taking. And I was so dazzled by the beauty of the place that whenever I did look around I still paid no attention to the route we had hiked. When we decided we had solved the problems of the world enough, we realized we were hopelessly lost. We did not know how we had gotten to where we had gotten, much less how to get where else we might have wanted to go. Our walk was an incoherent solution to get to a destination. We got to it, but had no clue how. A person who was also lost stopped and asked us how to get back. We could not help him. Because we did not understand what we had done, we were at the mercy of dumb luck to undo it. Mercifully, we were shortly lucky and found someone with enough sense to have kept track of where they had been going. The kind person lead us part of the way back then grew uncertain about which fork in the trail to take at a certain point. Fortunately, the other lost person that was walking with us recalled this part of the trail clearly. We followed that trail back. Deliverance was a collaborative effort. I also learned never to forget my surveying rules for survival I had learned when I was a young man. Never go anywhere in a wilderness that you cannot retrace by known steps. If you wish to lose yourself in thought, do so in a known location. You wish to explore, always make a mental map back.

    All science and QA are are reproducible maps of how we got where we are.

    Again, this bit of didacticism has not been meant for you.

    Regarding your counsel that HEM amend “free your mind” to “do the maths” I would amend you to “do both.” And I could not possibly have amended it thusly without both of you.

    The only human driven things as beautiful as science and QA are games, navigation/surveying, arts and love.

    With these things, humans relentlessly push back the darkness they are born into.

    Without them, they flounder.

    The game needs science and QA.

    You have brought some.

    Joe Dooley obviously was a QA guy Self has yet to find a replacement for.

    Rock Chalk!

    P.S.: Epigrams and rules are useful, but like found drivers and verified theories, they typically are incomplete, regardless of whether or not they may also be subject too a few exceptions. When working with anything from hunches, to QA derived drivers, to verified empirical facts and theories, I like to remember a marvelous thing Frank Lloyd Wright once said, as an aging genius, when he found himself ass deep in increasingly doctrinaire modernist architects. These doctrinaire modernists were fond of spouting a rule of Mies van der Roe’s: “Less is more.” Wright said: “Less is more, only if more is no good.” I don’t really know why I have added this post script, but it seemed worth passing on.

  • @konkeyDong In the little basketball I played, I remember our best player shouting “no bound!” whenever I (or someone else) hoisted up a jumper with no teammate near the rim. I remember thinking the same thing after a quick Greene 3.

    Could one difference between a "quick shot’ and a “bad shot” be what happens afterwards?

    Maybe QA would be served if there were an “eventual PPA”: what was the ultimate result of the shot, not just the immediate result?

    Get the ball inside, then kick it out: the defense is now running out to defend, not collapsing to defend / rebound. Lateral screens don’t have that effect. Can we measure that?

    Self sometimes said Tyshawn’s misses were like assists, since a teammate rebounded and scored. On the other hand, missed 3s can lead to long defensive rebounds that turn into transition offense. Can we measure that?

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t analysis require drilling down on significant phenomena, even if it’s quantitative?

  • Banned

    This is all very interesting fodder. However I’m not sure we can compare last years team to any of HCBS previous teams. Whether the intentions where there or not HCBS started three freshmen last year. This is not a normal occurrence. We can throw around all the numbers we want but even a causal fan can see that HCBS is a defense first kind of coach. Problem with this mindset is very few kids coming out of high school can play the level of defense at the college level their first year. Hence that is why you don’t see to many freshman start for HCBS.

    However times are changing. With the concept of Kids leaving early to chase the money becoming the norm. A head coach has to play these elite athletes even though a year riding the pine would do them some good. Especially on the defense side of the ball. Are you seeing my point here? It doesn’t matter what system you play when you have freshman running the show there are going to be break downs of the execution on both sides of the ball. You maybe able to replace older players in the system with better athletes but it’s not so easy to replace the wisdom, and the ability to execute these more seasoned players have earned.

    Now having said all that, I do think there is one area that HCBS needs to change and focus more on. The point guard position. I really believe this is where most of our tournament failures come from. Don’t get me wrong we have had some very nice two guards handle the rock quite well, but they were two guards and acting like one when the time came. Look no further than S. Collins. He was a great point guard right? I don’t think so. Yes the guy was great at getting to the rack, but that is all he wanted to do when the game was tight or on the line. A true point guard will take the points when they are there, but he is always looking for the easy bucket, getting the offense going. Look at Coach Cal and all the talent he had. Dismiss last years team (way to many last minute shots) his best team was the one where he had J. Wall. a true point guard.

    I love Tharpe as person and a Jayhawk, but I’m sorry when you get hit in the head by a pass. That says it all. Just my two cents worth.

  • Great discussion here between kD and HEM–> good stuff that makes us all stop to consider all the above points they are making.

    A few points:

    1. HEM states our m2m-D “definitely did not bring us a NC” (as he proposed zone-D for this 1 season last year). The only logic issue here is that look at the Elite8 teams–> majority of them played m2m better than KU did, and still didnt get a NC. Look at AZ sitting there with a fork in them right now…And even the teams like FL and KY that switched defenses…didnt get the NC (but could have). I dont think the type of D predicates a higher chance of winning a NC…but rather the proficiency with which (whatever) D is played. Look at Syracuse and we realize they simply are the best 2-3 zone ever, because they are totally dedicated to it. My counter-postulate is: We did not execute our own system even to the level of Self’s past teams, thus our chances were diminished in this portion of our game. Competence issue largely due to youth, and a couple of underachievers (that were not frosh). I’m NOT slamming our players, just saying: “look at our own D stats, compared with past Self teams…and get back in the practice gym and work on it.” If we cant meet our OWN performance standards…well, by god, what are we doing ‘expecting’ a NC run…? Even if you meet the standard, or “set” it like the 08Champs did, there are NO guarantees: They could have been knocked off by Davidson…but even when our MickeyDs and top50 seasoned vets stunk it up offensively–> our D kept us in that game, Kaun saved us offensively, and we bothered the living hell out of Curry/Davidson. That game was in the 50’s scorewise, if I recall.

    2. For this point, I will come back to my concept of needing to do almost everything well in a high-stakes game to win it. Consider Self’s basic 3 principles: A) high%looks, B.) Win possession battle, C) Defend to the level you are truly disrupting the opponent. Folks, the answers to all the head-scratching/axe-grinding about our Tourney losses lies in these 3 principles. The answer to the Tennessee-walk-on loss by the 2011 MorrisHawks (that went on to be the overall 1seed, but lost to VCU) lies in these 3 principles. Look at the game tape and SEE what we FAILED at, and there’s your answer. Look at FL losing in the Elite8 with a score in the 50s: they defended, but “couldnt score the basketball” (either an off-shooting day, or they got disrupted to hell by the opponent). Look at the narrow loss by WSU to KY: WSU did not score on 5 attempts *that were ALL over 60% “looks”, nor were they able to disrupt either Harrison Twin, as the KY twins went for 39pts. Game over. Historic season over. FAILED at things they did well all season long. Comes down to very simple reasons.

    Self said after the 2008 Championship that “you hope your team is playing at its most efficient level when you enter the Final4, as that gives you the best chance” Translation: Your offense is crisp, minimal turnovers, the timing of set plays is dead-on, you are hitting you high% looks (FTs, paint shots, and open-look-3s would be a luxury), and you are winning the possession battle either with rebounds, OR with rbds + steals, and you are defending the opponent to the point of disrupting not only plays, but affecting their whole offensive mindset. Do all those things, and you have a NC contender.

    Consider Stanford game: we actually defended better than we had been, we controlled our turnovers to only 13 (season avg, not bad, and the 08Champs avg’d 12-13range), but we were horrible on high%looks in the paint, and we lose by 3. Wiggins basically had about 5 drives where he either got stripped or charged = all turnovers. The BEST freshmen in the nation couldnt singlehandedly “save” their team, not Jabari Parker of Duke, not injured Embiid on the KU bench, nor Andrew Wiggins vs. Stanford (bad game) or vs. WVU (historic KU player good game, but team still loses). And I cant even mention Aaron Gordon’s 47%FT season avg with a straight face–making a 6’8 mockery of a basic principle. Any gameplan on AZ should’ve include hack-the-schitt out of Mr. Gordon…

    Consider VCU game, same criteria: didnt defend their early possession 3s, Markieff has 6 t.o.'s himself (not known as a t.o. machine), and Reed goes 1-7 treys. What a lethal combination, making us beatable by just about anybody.

    Consider FL game: 23+turnovers, our offensive execution was inexperienced/inefficient, and our D was, of course, subpar. One of the worst single-game losses by a KU team in the Bill Self era. Before you draw a “conclusion” about FL’s 1-3-1…just think back to Self’s system, as executed SOOO efficiently by the 2008Champs–> Do people remember what they did to opposing zone-defenses and traps? So my gentle counterpoint to spending too much time contemplating somebody else’s defense, is to simply compare what more experienced and tougher mindset Self teams have done (& thus are expected by design) to opposing zone Ds. Man-thought here: It’s about the tools you have, and are ya experienced in using them? Too easily forgotten about this last season is that while we lamented Naadir’s and Ellis’ play, along with frosh inconsistencies & injuries…the ‘toolkit’ these guys had at their disposal was pretty dumbed-down. Nicer way to put it was that it was only a ‘shell’ of what the 08Champs had to work with: 08 team had over 55plays in just their set half-court offense, and their D was so disruptive, that they were also GREAT at igniting their own transition-highlight fastbreaks. So now ffwd to '13-14 and see our inexperienced guys getting pressed by FL, Villanova, and SDSU (at home no less), and we dont defend/steal, thus cannot send Wiggy+Seldy on as many fast breaks as we’d like, so now its down to grinding it out in the half court with a LIMITED toolkit. So sending it into the post for high%+get rebounds+make Wiggins do dribble-drive (his best strength) was what Self tried. It got us 10th BigXII title, but really couldnt go much farther. Embiid’s impact on Self’s principles was 3fold: high%finisher (paint+FT), disruptor defensively, and rebounder (possession battle). That’s why losing him was a death sentence to any Final 4 hopes. Just like losing Niang gutted Hoiberg’s chances. They only beat UNC because UNC cannot defend at an elite level with any (systematic) consistency.

    You wonder why-O-why cant we beat people by 20+ routinely, like we used to? Well, think back to those seasons where we got stops/steals, made the other guy ugly, while we finished in transition, broke down zone-Ds methodically and sometimes dramatically…and that’s how we went on those “patented” 18-2 or 22-4 “runs”. Plus, doing that to a team gives them the “pucker factor”. It takes away their belief. This season, all we seemed to do was allow teams to believe they could run with us, and thus, they were. Remember how TxTech takes this Jayhawk team to the wire in Lubbock?

    The devil is in the details of execution and consistency and experience. And about having enough rehearsed-options in your brain to do when the opponent throws something different at you. Those little devils killed us, MANY times this season.

    Finally, to say a word about Bill Self: He comes up with plays, defense, and recruits the guys to execute it…and hammers them til they do it. Does anybody really, honestly think that the newbie '13Jayhawks had all the plays and experience at running them that the '08, '11, or '12Jayhawks did? You cannot compare oak seedlings to solid oak trees. It could be similar great seeds (high recruits), same farmer (coach), same soil (system)–but the results are different. So do we blame the recruits, or coach, or system? Now? Seems premature to do that given the problems this team showed all season long. The most peculiar thing about the “sick of early Tourney exits” arguments are that the analysis of the loss itself is glossed over. Or essentially ignored. Or magnified into something bigger than it actually is. Does Self’s post-loss explanation leave you perplexed, as many fans are saying: “Is that it? Didnt make shots? Didnt defend? Or shots ‘were contested’? Where’s our gameplan adjustment? Why couldnt we come up with something different when Wiggy says there were 3 guys on him?” My answer is we didnt have much else in our ‘toolkit’. Self had 5.5mos (Oct–>mid-March) with this team. How long did he have with the 08Champs? How about the '12Champ run? He can call all the timeouts he has, but how much repertoire did this team actually have that he could reliably expect to be executed properly… in crunchtime? This is a big point, but even bigger is when we arent executing the basics all season long. None of this is a condemnation of anything…just a synopsis of 1 season of a very young team.

    People will be more pleased this coming season. Look for a restoration of typical Self-team statistical performance. All the reasons why will be another post.

  • @DoubleDD Good points. But a key point I’ve been making for over a month now, is that our BEST defenders on this unusual team were: Embiid, Wiggins, Selden, and Mason. All freshmen. Which begs the question why the returnees werent getting it done? And now one of the returnees is gone. The biggest change for the '14-15Hawks is that there is a bigger core of returning experience now. We still add new faces: top3 big, top15 wing, top36 combo guard…so there will be another frosh learning curve, but the returning “core” should be a lot more consistent, capable, and competent on both ends of the floor. Not to mention the intangible attitude and toughness and physicality that not only returns, but is also arriving in Cliff and Kelly. Imagine those guys after Selfization and Huditioning…

  • I find it cute and sometimes funny when everyone drops an early exit knock on KU or HCBS (name one here________) on our boards simply because ALL of the other programs have lost in the NIT over the past 10 years. KU or Bill Self’s early losses have not been fun to watch but at lease he made the tourney EVERY year. You will all hear me say this enough to make you all sick but Bill Self is the Key Factor to our success no matter what roster changes take place. However the mental toughness and drive to succeed mixed in with some experience is what is going to be the winning combination for our beloved KU team over the next several years. I honestly think HCBS could take a div2 team and win the Big 12 title on any given year.

  • @Statmachine I would add to statmachine’s post about Self being the “key factor no matter what roster changes”, as even Self is the one making the roster changes. College recruiting is 2-3yrs in the future, at all times. Sometimes you miss on guys, sometimes not. But the true greatness of Self (only talking about Bill Self, the coach from Okmulgee, OK), is what he does after Yr2 with his players. And yes, almost any athletes, ranked or not. Tulsa Athletic Dept. still has a huge mural and pictures on their wall honoring Self and his 1999 Elite8 32-5 squad. Frank Haith can stare at that and try to top that for the rest of his career. And just what has Bill Self done with his coaching career since 1999…?

  • I do enjoy reading these boards and I love how in depth our boards get and if your anything like me you wish you could somehow call HCBS and give some advice from time to time lol. You can take as much data from Ken Pom or any other statistic from where ever you want and analyse HCBS’s past teams until your hearts content but what good does it actually do? I highly doubt he reads these boards to get coaching advice from this infinite pool of wisdom here at KU buckets lol. His system and style of coaching has gotten KU to the top of the big12 and a high seed every year. Our roster has turned over every year and we have even lost all 5 starters and he has still managed to beat the odds and win the big 12 title or at least a share of it. He was hired by KU because of his proven track record, style of coaching, and winning record even while coaching at really small schools. His recruiting and eye for talent is far and away better than most coaches still coaching today. When he left Illinois the 2005 Fighting Illini, (Self’s recruits) went 37–2 and fell to North Carolina in the NCAA championship game proving that the guys he recruits are good and stuff. As long as he is at KU our guys will be dancing each and every year so expect some early losses but expect more trophies on the shelf too because as long as we are dancing we have a shot every year. That’s why he makes the big bucks!

  • Sometimes good teams just lose a close game: See MichiganSt, Michigan, Kentucky, WichitaSt, Arizona, FL, etc. Try again next year…

  • @ralster Yes even the all mighty Wichita st lost this year. They set some records that may never be beaten? I would assume that what ever blue blood college program Gregg Marshall ends up at will be a force to be reckoned with. Imagine what that guy could do with a bunch of 4 and 5 star recruits? I would assume Duke or North Carolina will nab him within the next 2-3 years.

  • @Statmachine no way!

  • @konkeyDong I read an article on Grantland recently entitled “DataBall”. Here’s the link:

    It is a pretty interesting read on something I figure you’d enjoy. And I think you’re right, that getting a “brain builder” to analyze advance statistics and data could be hugely beneficial to the program. It might be the next jump in the evolution of college coaching. I think Brad Stevens was scratching the surface of this at Butler.

    One final thing though, since you’re a self-proclaimed numbers guy, here’s a quote from the article mentioned:

    “It’s hard not to improperly elevate the role of “big data” in contemporary sports analyses, but romanticizing them is dangerous. Data are necessarily simplified intermediaries that unite performances and analyses, and the world of sports analytics is built upon one gigantic codec that itself is built upon the defective assumption that digits can represent athletics.”

    Just a friendly reminder not to discount or ignore the eye test or analysis that is rooted in common sense simply because we can’t or haven’t assigned an empirical value to it.

  • @konkeyDong

    Really nice post!

    I read it all, and I’ll try to read everyone’s responses later. Unfortunately, my garden is calling me in just a few minutes.

    Sometimes brevity is an advantage for perception.

    When I look at almost everything we discuss, it concerns issues with guard play.

    Either we recruit the wrong players, or we use the players we have ineffectively.

    I can point to every single guard we have and I can second-guess Self. I will do that, but I’ll never value my second-guessing over his real-time judgment because everyone is a genius at second-guessing.

    I believe our overall, number one issue is who we recruit at the PG position. It isn’t impossible to find a good PG. I think we may now have 3 good PGs for next year. Finding a GREAT PG is something totally different, and needless to say, we all totally undervalue the difference between GOOD and GREAT. GREAT PGs will put you in the hunt for a NC, regardless of the quality at the other positions (to a point).

    It’s been a long time since Kansas had a GREAT PG. And because of that, we don’t really understand what a difference that one guy plays on a team. Everything addressed in this thread relates heavily to the responsibilities of the PG.

    Defense is a big part of the responsibility of the PG, too. And as long as we recruit PGs who can’t shut his man down off the dribble, we’ll never be outstanding running a M2M defense. But then… we won’t be outstanding running a zone either!

    I’m not convinced a zone is our answer. I think making sure our guards (including PG) know how to shut down the drive is the one area we need to address.

    I am building some quiet optimism for our PG play next year. I like the combination of 3 guys who all bring a different set of skills to that position. I’m quietly optimistic because I want to see them prove they can play before I get too excited.

  • It’s been a long time since Kansas had a GREAT PG

    @drgnslayr Curious who you think our last great PG was. I have an idea in my head, but I’ll keep it to myself until I hear who you’re thinking of.

  • I’m not good at basketball strategies or analysis, so it’s really great to read of the basketball discussions here. After reading @konkeyDong, HEM and all the other knowledgeable posters, the only conclusion I got was that we didn’t have the right personnel to execute Coach Self’s game plans. It really exposed the short coming of having to rely on mostly Freshmen to carry the load, and that is not Self ball. In Coach Self’s system, it really takes more than 1, probably 2 years to get close to the full potential. Hopefully next season or the year following we will have the right combination of experience and youthfulness, we will have better results. I think having 1 OAD may augment an experienced team, but 3 definitely dummy down the team’s sophistication and is not a good thing.

  • @drgnslayr After reading a ton of news and what recruiting experts have to say about Devonte Graham I am almost convinced that he could be the next Great Point Guard for KU! Man it took some time but I read article after article about how good he was on a loaded Brewster Academy team. His assists to turnover ratio was 5-1 and I have read tons of praise about him being tough on D, staying in front of his man, taking charges (not typical of hs ball), controlling tempo, scoring in transition, having 20/20 court vision, and making plays for other team mates. His coach says he is the toughest point guard in the big 12 (although I’m still not sure he is qualified to make that call) and even HCBS has been talking about how other point guards have started as freshmen during his tenure. Bill Self is already setting him up to be our starting PG in the media. He is even saying that our PG position is the deepest its ever been (No one was saying that a week ago). Even if he doesn’t start I was already excited to see how our sophomore’s Frankamp and Mason fared next year with the departure of Tharpe? Its hard not to come away excited after reading about this kids ascend to the top of many recruiting analyst’s boards.

  • Question. How far would this year’s KU Team have gone in the tourney with Napier instead of Tharpe?

  • How far would this year’s team have gone with Tyshawn, Sherron, or Russell Robinson? Imagine one of these guys with Selden, Wiggins, Ellis and Embiid/Black? (With all due respect to EJ, I left him out as his career proved he was best at the 2guard position…best when paired with an aggressive co-ballhandler.)

  • @ralster I was getting ready to say kinda the same thing. Taylor or Napier as seniors led their teams to a national championships! Tharpe wasn’t going to get us there no matter weather you liked him or not. I do however think that one of the options at PG on our current roster will get us there again. I am just hoping its before their senior year? Historically, teams with freshman point guards haven’t had massive success in the NCAA tournament. I believe i read somewhere that only 3 freshman and 3 sophomores have have lead their team to a national championship over the last 20 years or so.

  • @Statmachine That stat makes sense. All the more reason why our best chance for another NC could be 15-16, depending on who leaves after this coming season.

  • @Hawk8086 I don’t know if anyone remembers but Frankamp was the leading scorer (14.1 ppg) on the U17 2012 Olympic team with Tyus Jones, Jabari Parker, Jahlil Okafor, Dakari Johnson, and Stanly Johnson. He split the PG duties with Tyus Jones but it was Frankamp who lead the team in minutes and points. I think Frankamp is our best option when it gets right down to the nut cuttin. If HCBS says we are more loaded than we have ever been at the point then its because of quality players like Frankamp. He will set the bar early and it will be up to Mason and Graham to try to catch up. I dont mind if it takes them another year to reach the national championship as long as they do it.

  • @KansasComet another question, how far would this years KU team have gone w/HEM coaching, running a zone? No Embiid.

  • @icthawkfan316

    “Curious who you think our last great PG was. I have an idea in my head, but I’ll keep it to myself until I hear who you’re thinking of.”

    We’ve had some really good PGs. Great? I don’t know. I can’t think of one who took us to a NC carrying most of the weight on his shoulders.

    I can’t really say any PG sticks out as GREAT in the Bill Self era.

    I have to go back further… liked Jacque Vaughn… and of course who didn’t like the assist king, Aaron Miles. That one area of his game was about as good as it gets… call it GREAT!

    Here is my favorite guard from Kansas… albeit a 2:

    I’d like to see us land a PG who could do all that.

    @Statmachine - I’m following all the hype. First… players are always over-hyped out of their HS or from AAU coaches. But I’ve watched that tape, and the kid looks legit.

    I just don’t think we should all over-bite on this kid. Make him earn all the accolades. We are always too quick to praise kids before they even dribble a ball.

    I do have high hopes for Devonte, and I hope he is everything the hype is saying about him. He definitely could be. But I’m going to remain quietly optimistic. Let’s see him translate his HS game to college, where players are bigger and faster. It isn’t just the guy that is guarding him… it’s at all 5 positions, so passing, driving… everything is tougher at D1.

    Devonte looks athletic and capable. I want to see his basketball IQ. I want to see him with a basketball brain like Kirk Hinrich.

    This could easily be Self’s best depth at PG… if it can beat out RRob, Chalmers and Collins. That’s a pretty tough core of guys capable at PG. What would make these guys better is if one of them (probably Devonte) steps up and goes from GOOD to GREAT.

  • Pace is determined by personnel.

    For example, with a big guy like Withey or Aldrich, having a fast pace doesn’t play to your personnel because you’re just wearing them down by having your offense fly up and down the floor, and you aren’t taking advantage of their size because you’re pushing the ball up and down.

    So the question when it comes to pace is does a faster pace fit this upcoming season’s personnel. A quick scan of the perimeter guys says it probably does. For one, we have depth at the point if both Mason and Graham can handle primary ball handler duties. I think Frankamp probably slides more to the 2, especially with Graham here, as having a bigger PG to allow Frankamp to play on the wing while still not having to defend a bigger guy is probably ideal. Plus, that takes advantage of Frankamp’s greatest skill, which is his shooting. Oubre and Selden can get out in transition, as can Greene and White.

    What about the big guys? Well, Perry plays better in a set half court offense, but from watching Alexander, I think he is comfortable in transition. Traylor is definitely a transition player. Not sure yet on Mickelson, which ultimately may be the determining factor. If Mickelson isn’t comfortable in transition, KU may be a selective running team (i.e., run when the Chicago bigs are in with Mason and any two wings, play more half court with Perry, Mickelson, Frankamp and Greene on the floor).

    As for zone defense, I think KU should show a zone as at least a change of pace look. I was advocating this last year with the size and length KU had at it’s disposal, and I would advocate a similar look this year. I don’t think Oubre will be the individual defender that Wiggins was, but I think he will be very solid. I still think a 3-2 zone could be very effective with the likely starting group (Graham, Selden, Oubre, Ellis, Alexander) because of their size and length.

    I think a 2-3 would be a fun look if KU decided to go smaller (something like Mason, Frankamp, Selden, Traylor, Mickelson). That would be a good look to maybe change the look the opposing offense was getting for a handful of possessions.

    I agree with @konkeyDong 100% that we need to embrace attacking matchup advantages. This has been one of my major criticisms of Coach Self in that he lets lesser talented teams hang around because he lets them play their regular rotation rather than basically telling them “you can’t play your two worst rotation players today because I will destroy them whenever they are in the game.” That’s the single biggest reason UK beat Wichita State. Had Marshall been able to play his regular rotation, he may have been able to have enough gas in the tank for a win. But Wessel (12 mpg in the season, 3 vs. UK) and Coleby (13 mpg regular season, 7 vs. UK) were basically eliminated from the rotation because Cal went right after them. Self let a Stanford team without a true PG beat him in the NCAA rather than pressing them to death with a small lineup and making their zone defend Wiggins as a 4 man in the high post.

    Exploiting matchups will be the key to success, over and above everything else. When we have a size advantage, we dominate. However, the high low doesn’t give us the advantage if we are better on the perimeter. Look at the Northern Iowa loss. Or Stanford. Or Bradley. What’s the common thread between those teams? All had a 7 footer on their roster that was pretty solid, which eliminated our typical interior advantage. But in each of those games, our guards were better (sometimes substantially so). But in sticking with the high low, we negated our own advantage by taking the ball away from our advantage and moving it to where they could play us more evenly.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Without Embiid? Not very far. We really missed our dynamic rim protector. As far as zone defense and another coach? I will respectfully decline comment.

  • @jaybate 1.0 I don’t know why you put Wright’s quote in either.

    However, “Less is more, but only if more is no good”, is a quote I will be repeating.

  • @drgnslayr Man…Hinrich! He spent a year playing the point didn’t he? Good call my friend!

    I don’t think a PG has to carry us to a NC to be considered great. I couldn’t punish a great PG because he had great teammates.

    Aaron Miles was pretty close I think. A true point guard. And I think Collins was pretty close. Had his senior year not been marred by the UNI upset, I think we’d be talking about him. He willed the '09 team to a conference championship and a sweet 16, and had that '10 poised to do much greater things.

Log in to reply