The battle for scholarships/playing time continues: the PG spot

  • So while on HEM’s thread about AW3 transferring after losing the battle with Brannen Greene, REHawk brought up the next logjam - the point guard position. We have 3 next year, and logic tells us there will only be room for 2 to receive steady minutes. And looking at it right now, this is going to be as closely a contested battle as we’ve seen at any position. No one can claim with any confidence that they know who will win playing time, the starting role, etc. Let’s take a look at all three players, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses as we enter next season:

    Connor Frankamp - 6’0" sophomore. Rivals ranked recruit # 34, ESPN ranked recruit #46

    Strengths/pros: Reputation as an exceptional shooter, although he didn’t show this throughout the season. Took care of the ball exceptionally well. Made good passes when he was in the game. Garnered playing time in the NCAA tournament when Tharpe struggled (and garnered this playing time over season-long back-up Frank Mason). Ended last year on a positive with great play in the two tournament games. Was the team leading scorer on the 2012 team USA U17 world championship team. One year familiarity in Self’s system.

    Weaknesses/Cons: Not exceedingly athletic. Defense an upgrade over Tharpe, but still likely marginal. Not a guard that is going to break down the defense or drive the lane typically. Needs to show trey gun skills consistently. Couldn’t beat out Mason most of the year for the back-up minutes.

    Frank Mason - 5’11" sophomore. Rivals ranked recruit #76. Unranked ESPN recruit

    Strengths/Pros: Quickness attacking the rim. Able to penetrate the defense off the dribble. Showed good defensive instincts. Enters next year with the most collegiate level playing time at the position having been Tharpe’s primary back-up last season. One year familiarity in Self’s system.

    Weaknesses/Cons: Needs to finish more of his shot attempts off his drives; often shots were wild and appeared out of control on drives. Could dish more off his drives. Showed only an average jump shot. Shortest of the 3 candidates.

    Devonte’ Graham - 6’2" freshman. Rivals ranked recruit #36. Unranked ESPN recruit.

    Strengths/Pros: Tallest of the candidates, which certainly appeals to Self’s combo guard philosophy. Displayed a 40% trey gun last year at Brewster. Described as having leadership skills, being a good passer/play maker, and being a good defender. Led Brewster to the national prep championship.

    Weaknesses/Cons: Everything about his game is speculation, as it is unknown how any of the superlatives and praise used to describe his game will translate to the next level. A year behind the learning curve of the other PG candidates.

    So that’s the brief rundown. I included the rankings of these guys coming out of high school because I’m a firm believer (as others are, yet some aren’t) that while the rankings aren’t the gospel, they can be a useful guide. You’re less likely to be a bust ranked in the top 50 than you are in the 50-100 range. I also am curious as to how close Graham plays to his ranking. I understand the whole deal where he wasn’t getting looked at after signing with lowly Appalachian St., but I also wonder how much of his ranking might be inflated by the likes of KU & Florida recruiting him the second time around. Or to put it another way, to go from being unranked and signing a LOI with Appalachian St. to being ranked # 36 and signing with Kansas shows a meteoric rise. Embiid-like. Did he really get that much better in one season? It’s possible.

    Anyway, as I said before, no one can claim to have any great insight here. In my opinion, it’s completely up in the air. I certainly don’t have a good read on the situation. I really like both Mason & Frankamp, and am excited from what I’ve read and seen regarding Graham. If I had to venture a guess it is that the battle is going to be between CF & Mason. I think Graham will get minutes, most likely backing up to start the season, but if he impresses could possibly seize the starting role by the time conference play rolls around. Now between CF & Mason I’m really torn. On the one hand I see a little of Sherron/Tyshawn in Mason that I know Self likes. The ability to push the pace and to drive the lane. On the other hand, one of our weaknesses last year was 3 point shooting. Selden isn’t likely to greatly improve, Oubre probably won’t be as good as Wiggins shooting the 3 ball. Mason would likely be a downgrade from Tharpe last year shooting the trey. But Frankamp with regular minutes could provide that outside assassin. And he is steady and takes care of the ball.

    I also think we might see something along the lines that we saw with Greene last year and that is the loser of the position battle not necessarily being in the rotation, but having a role to where he knows he’s going to get on the court and get a few scraps of minutes.

    It’s unfortunate, as I really wish there were enough minutes to go around for all of these guys, much like I wish we had minutes to give to AW3. But minutes are limited, and the battle begins. And as HEM speculated, without minutes there’s a great chance we could lose one to transfer next year. Before AW3, the transfers were by and large lower ranked players that while we might be sorry to see them go, it really wasn’t a huge loss from a talent perspective. But now AW3, and next year maybe one of these guys…

    At least in this case we can’t blame the OAD phenomenon.

  • @icthawkfan316 Nice summary. Add into the mix a new recruiting class for 2015. You never know if another kid falls in our lap.

    Try this … would you rather have a four man perimeter rotation this coming season of Naadir Tharpe, Anrio Adams, Andrew White, and Milton Doyle, or our perimeter rotation? Interesting to consider.

  • I think the tough thing about this battle is that each of these guys brings something different to the table, but ultimately it’s going to depend on what the team needs. I think all of them could play, but only two will.

    I would say that Graham has the edge as he appears to be the best equipped to be something of an above average defender. Mason is probably an average defender at best due to his size and Conner probably tops out at average as well due to his shortage of athleticism and strength.

    The other thing to consider is which of these guys is likely to get other people good shots. That was where Tharpe fell short last year. We have plenty of scorers on this roster with Ellis, Alexander, Oubre, Selden, Greene, Mickelson, etc. What we need is someone that can get them all open looks.

    Mason is more of a scoring PG. He penetrates to score (or draw fouls) for himself. He wasn’t much of a passer off the dribble last season because he is looking to get to the rim for his own scoring opportunities. He can collapse a defense, but throughout the season last year he wasn’t collapsing the defense to get other guys shots.

    Conner is an undersized shooting guard that can handle the ball. He’s really not a PG, although his handle is good enough to play there. The downside for him is that, like Mason, he doesn’t really help get other guys open shots because his strength is spacing the floor with his shooting. He is a player that benefits from the penetration of others, rather than a player that helps others benefit off his drives.

    Which brings us to Graham. In high school, he seemed to be a drive and dish or score type of player. That’s more what this team needs than just a drive and score PG or a shooting PG. With all of the wing and post scorers, we need a passing PG and Graham seems most likely to fit that mold as we stand today.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    If we were Wichita State (or even K-State) that rotation would be pretty nice. However, at KU, that rotation just isn’t talented enough. That group doesn’t have a single guy in it that I could envision a scenario where they play in the NBA one day. That’s an “I hope this works out” type of rotation.

  • @icthawkfan316 I agree with your overall assessment. You’re obviously high on CF and he is a great player. I just hope he becomes all that we need him to be. I will say you’re a bit too low on Greene. I think your outlook with Greene is too pessimistic. I think Greene just got the nod behind Oubre after AW3’s transfer and those two are going to be a nice balance in the rotation. Greene gets more minutes than you are implying. Otherwise, Greene transfers too. In fact, you’re a bit insulting toward Greene, “scrap minutes”? Wow…I’d transfer if that were the case. I posted a lineup in another post shortly after AW3 announced his transfer.

    Mason/Graham- This is going to be interesting. I give Graham a second half of the season nod, but if Mason can step up, he may be our next pg going forward. Many think Graham will eventually take control of starting duties. But, Self’s system and the adjustment to D1 is a rude awakening for KU recruits.

    Selden/CF -




    Now, we get into Self’s crazy 8 man rotation. I simply said it will be nine at the most. Most nights it may look close to this:

    Mason - Not sure how Self will juggle Graham and CF around this position.

    Selden- Will give Greene the backup nod because most matches will require his services, but expect to see some CF.

    Oubre/Greene - Greene’s the backup

    Ellis/JTray - We are solid at the 4.

    Alex - (Lucas and Mickelson are going to battle their jocks off)

    The 8th or 9th man will come down to either CF, Graham, Lucas or Mickelson. I give CF the nod at the guard because we really need some outside help on the arc. I’m giving Mickelson the nod to back Alex due to his reputation at Arkansas and the fact that he battled and learned under Embiid. Lucas doesn’t seem too eager to play from his body language.


    Selden- CF



    Alex/ maybe Mickelson - pending…

    This lineup will require 9 man rotation, but an 8 is possible. Lucas and Mickelson are your odd men on the bench. I really think Alex will hold his own in the B12 against the Ridley’s. Remember, Alex played against Okafor. I definitely think Okafor is way better than Ridley. Okafor is as big too. So pending foul trouble, we’ll see a lot of Alexander the Great.

  • @justanotherfan Ok, I understand. I’d rather have our guys, too.

    Remove Tharpe and put Adams at the point … you go, what, 6’3", 6’4", 6’6"? Bring Tharpe off the bench. Two “combo” guards as the term is used (see @ralster, I can say it), long and athletic.

    And as ict has noted, Adams is much more talented than Tharpe – a guy who has more natural attributes. Adams is a plus defender. Doyle played well for Loyola this past season, and was their leading scorer. And White isn’t that much different than Greene, and Oubre will be a freshman. Remember, Tharpe started for us last season, too. Wasn’t like Self thought he was a slouch.

    I just think it’s an interesting comparison.

  • @truehawk93 I think perhaps you misunderstood my post. I wasn’t evaluating Greene at all. I agree that Greene probably gets the nod behind Oubre next year and sees…12-15 mpg maybe? Possibly more? My point was that last year Greene had a role where it was only “a few scraps of minutes” (he only averaged 6.6 mpg), but it was a role where he usually knew he was going to get on the floor. He got into all but two of the conference games. It happened a lot in the first half of games sometime after the 10 minute mark, and he was out there for a handful of possessions. He wasn’t a rotation player by any stretch, but Self was doing what he could to try and keep him fresh (and likely placated). And my point in bringing Greene up was that we might see the loser of the PG battle end up in a similar situation, where he is not a rotation player, but Self gives him the kind of role Greene had last year.

  • @icthawkfan316 Thanks for the clarification…yes I agree about the pg.

  • @HighEliteMajor Man…you know what an Adams guy I am! I think with Doyle and Tharpe in that bag though I’d still take our current perimeter rotation.

  • @icthawkfan316

    Nice thread!

    I think the most-vulnerable player in your list is Frank Mason. He’s the only player sort of stuck strictly at the PG position.

    Conner may be small, but he has the guns to be a 2. I expect he will get some minutes at the 2 next year, especially if he can strengthen his small frame over the summer.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Devonte could play some 2 also. Not sure what Self committed to him in order to get his signature. He has the most size of all 3, and he seems to be well-rounded.

    We’ve seen Self this past year go with two small guards at the same time (at the 1 and 2). I can see that happening more. Really depends on Wayne and his performance.

    It seems that even the pros are looking harder at x-axis basketball these days and running more periods of small lineups to take advantage of match ups on the x-axis.

    I’m doing everything I can to bite my lip and talk about other things than Devonte Graham… because I want him to prove himself before we get all hyped up. But dang it, internally I am jacked on his potential! What really got me was how far his game advanced between his junior and senior year in HS. This kid is on the move and it appears to be like a rocket going straight up! (okay, okay… back to biting my lip!)

  • Who out of all of these guys can play D?

    I want a pg that can stop penetration, someone who can get up in the face and not let a shot off but still not get drove on.

    Mason was exposed last year with his height, guys tried to post him up.

    CF was rumored to lose playing time because he was a liability.

    Not sure about Graham, and his D but I am guessing it’s an upgrade to where Tharpe was late in the season.

    I don’t need a pg that shoot 3s all day, or who wants to score 15 points. I want a PG that can direct traffic, drive and dish, shoot when needed and can play outstanding D all game long and not rely on a shot blocker.

    Does Arron Miles have any eligibility left?

  • @drgnslayr I am also excited about Devonte Graham but it is impossible to get over excited. We are literally basing our thoughts about Devonte on a few Youtube mix tapes we have all seen and that is it. I remember watching Wiggins highlights from high school and saying to myself “this guy will be totally unstoppable”. Obviously he had a great year but he was not unstoppable as he was in high school. Far from it at times. I expect Graham to have a tough transition into Div 1 basketball and I assume he will get 5-10 minutes this year behind CF and Mason and Selden and will be more of an impact player his sophomore year. If I am wrong that will be great as I am sure Mason and CF are incredibly ready to take the starting spot.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Good advice.

    Wiggins old highlights from HS were impressive. But I remember looking at all those youtube clips and noticing he always seemed to do just that one spin move drive. It made me wonder what else he could do, and he only added a couple of tools to his toolbox while at KU… like his step to the side jumper.

    Devonte already appears to have more tools in his toolbox. It looks like he understands the need to create scoring space on defenders.

    I agree with you… that he’ll go through a tough period trying to transition into the level of play in D1. Question is… how long will it take for him to become an impact player?

    I expect we will see some shining moments his freshman year, but the big payoff will be in future years. That’s okay. Maybe he’ll actually wear a Jayhawk uniform for 4 years! Wouldn’t that be something! Some of my optimism is focused on the possibility of him being here all 4 years!


    “I don’t need a pg that shoot 3s all day, or who wants to score 15 points. I want a PG that can direct traffic, drive and dish, shoot when needed and can play outstanding D all game long and not rely on a shot blocker.”


  • @drgnslayr Connor is a kind of a shorter version of Curry. I just wish he was around the true 6’2 or 6’3 range. He’d be nasty to handle. But his biggest weakness is his defense and feet. He’s just going to struggle with his size, feet, and lack of length. His shot and his IQ are his natural talents. He had to work hard to get his shot to be at this level. I want nothing but success for Connor.

  • @joeloveshawks

    Good advice.

    Wiggins old highlights from HS were impressive. But I remember looking at all those youtube clips and noticing he always seemed to do just that one spin move drive. It made me wonder what else he could do, and he only added a couple of tools to his toolbox while at KU… like his step to the side jumper.

    Devonte already appears to have more tools in his toolbox. It looks like he understands the need to create scoring space on defenders.

    I agree with you… that he’ll go through a tough period trying to transition into the level of play in D1. Question is… how long will it take for him to become an impact player?

    I expect we will see some shining moments his freshman year, but the big payoff will be in future years. That’s okay. Maybe he’ll actually wear a Jayhawk uniform for 4 years! Wouldn’t that be something! Some of my optimism is focused on the possibility of him being here all 4 years!


    “I don’t need a pg that shoot 3s all day, or who wants to score 15 points. I want a PG that can direct traffic, drive and dish, shoot when needed and can play outstanding D all game long and not rely on a shot blocker.”


    All right, ok, uh huh AMEN brotha…now let’s get it done. Who will it be? I think Mason is the sure bet right now. However, don’t count Graham out. Graham just needs time. Mason better get his head straight, focused, and play ball. Please don’t think too much either. I think CF thinks too much too. These kids freeze or use too much caution. Throw it to the wind and play to your abilities. I watch kids do that and it’s remarkable what they can do. But, most of them aren’t on a stacked KU squad either. They have nothing to lose except having a lousy game…hmm…we talked about that factor too on this board. The old Bill Self reservation or get yanked psychological factor that creates a tightness with players.

    If you look at many of Bill Self’s teams, they tend to play tight. But hopefully that changes as the leash is increased.

  • @truehawk93 I also think a lot of the hesitation comes from being on a loaded team. They don’t want to take shots away from other players. They don’t want to be a ball hog, even if they have the hot hand.

    So they hesitate and lose their chance at an open shot to see who is open for the pass.

  • @JRyman If you got game - BE A BALL HOG! Your teammates, coaches and fans will let you know when it’s time to dish it off.

  • @nuleafjhawk Yep…this has beat KU many times. Teams go to the hot hand. They do it in the NBA too. I’m all for team play. But when you have a hungry hand? Feed them…you’ll win games. I think the problem isn’t that they pass, it’s becaue they hesitate. If you remember @JRyman Wiggins was terrible about not shooting MORE. I remember Barkley and many others would criticize him for not shooting it. He had nothing to lose. Self wasn’t going to bench him for taking good open shots. But Wiggins chose not to when he should’ve been taking way more. In fact, Self even said Wiggins needed to be more aggressive. In other words, Self gave Wiggins the GREEN light to shoot at will. If you’re a good shooter, SHOOT, dang…no one will criticize you. But if you shoot 3-4 and miss all, you might think twice. But Wiggins would hit 2-3 in a row and you might see him wait 2-3 mins before he would shoot again. When Wiggins drove, good things happened too. But the charge rule caused many to pause for fear of charging. Now I just read on ESPN they want to make the charge rule even harder.

    Conor performed perfectly against Stanford. Those shots he launched and SUNK were B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. He didn’t pause or think, he shot a natural shot he’s shot many times before in high school and it works.

    This is the problem with KU. Nobody wants to step up and take the shot and when they do, it’s usually the wrong man. For example, they make 2-4 passes, and then pass to Ellis on the key. He launches and misses. Their shot selection is simple. Pass around the perimeter 2-3 times, look inside each time for a seal, look to drive, or take an open look with time running off the shot clock. Mason, Greene, CF, Oubre, and Selden MUST hit the open treys. It wouldn’t hurt to have Ellis step out with his “much improved 3” shot too. KU has to make teams pay. We should get a real good idea about Graham soon. Most of us will be able to get an interesting idea of how he will perform in a few preseason games. I will be curious to see how much pt he gets this year. I think you’ll see a lot of Mason and CF at first, but Graham better make a good effort and show some efficiency this year or his time will be difficult.

    BTW- You have to play D too, make stops, and get some defensive boards in order to get good shots on the other end.

  • @truehawk93 You said:

    “This is the problem with KU. Nobody wants to step up and take the shot and when they do, it’s usually the wrong man. For example, they make 2-4 passes, and then pass to Ellis on the key. He launches and misses. Their shot selection is simple. Pass around the perimeter 2-3 times, look inside each time for a seal, look to drive, or take an open look with time running off the shot clock.”

    Remember, it’s not that “nobody wants to step up and take the shot”, it’s that they get hammered by coach Self if they do. Shoot the three too early in the shot clock – and you find the bench. You have diagnosed Self’s offensive approach. Pass it around the perimeter, look for the entry pass, if you get below 15 seconds on the shot clock, the acceptable shot selection then widens. But it is Self dictating the approach.

    You also said:

    “Conor performed perfectly against Stanford. Those shots he launched and SUNK were B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. He didn’t pause or think, he shot a natural shot he’s shot many times before in high school and it works.”

    Right. He didn’t pause. Why? Because the game situation required him to gun.

    Your statements illustrate the exact point – shooters need the freedom to gun. Self doesn’t give them that freedom. Therefore, they “pause” and “think.” As result, they don’t shoot as well, and hesitate.

    It is just that freaking simple.

  • @truehawk93 and @HighEliteMajor

    Both of you guys have great posts here. Spot on!

    I believe it is an issue with Self’s hi/lo (and other set) offenses. He counts on so much discipline that it takes players out of the natural flow of offense.

    Anytime a player takes a shot he should feel it. It should come natural and be a combination of a reflex and optimism together. That’s what it takes to get a hot hand and to repeat it often.

    Instead… our guys get pinned down too much… too much thinking… too much counting to see if enough pass arounds have happened for them to shoot. We are at our worse in March. Everything is riding on it and the pressure is too much.

    We’ve all been around a court enough to know that a guy start feeling it and so many times he is right and gets hot. The key then is to get him the ball with a total green light, but still… don’t pressure him to shoot. He’ll shoot if he feels it and if the shot flows.

    We screw up by putting rules on guys too much. They need to pass around more, so they are restricted from shooting. Then we flip it the other way and tell a guy to shoot it. Neither way works and both ways create an unnatural shooting situation where the player is forced either to pass on the shot or shoot it.

    Self’s high-structure, high-discipline offense works pretty good during conference play. We know our opponents so well we can recite their jockstrap labels. Add that into our disciplined offense and it spells victories and good stats.

    But in March everything gets turned upside down. Opponents often come at us with an extreme amount of mojo. And they bring unique things to throw at us. And all the players we don’t know. It requires a flexible offense. More (even) than that, it requires an offense to be opportunistic. We don’t have that kind of mentality with our offense going into March. We are stuck on structure and discipline.

    So we can’t budge off our stagnant offense during situations in March. It has become extremely frustrating to watch.

    I know what it relates to. It relates to Self first wanting to win another B12 regular season championship, and he (obviously) has the formula to do it.

    I’d like to see him gamble. I’d like to see him put more faith in himself to find other approaches to winning the league… approaches that will give us a better shot in March!

    It doesn’t mean we stop losing in March. But maybe we improve and go further more often… maybe even towards another national championship! It would be nice!

  • A picture of Frank and Conner facing off for the starting job headlines ESPN’s basketball page. Here’s the summary…

  • @wrwlumpy Glad I can provide ESPN some material for their articles 🙂

    The comments crack me up. Got guys unequivocally saying Graham is what is best despite not having seen a single minute of college action, and got a guy throwing down his starting 5 plus a back-up at every position. I just wonder, does that ever get old? Just rattling off line-ups every year, no later than the day after the season ends and often times while the previous season is still in progress. And then doing it on a regular basis until the start of the season.

    I like the discussion, speculation, and debate about such things, but seeing that “starting 5, back-up 5” always makes me cringe. I’d go into hibernation on kusports until October every year just because I can only look at those things so many times. So far, this board keeps me coming back.

  • Great thread! I like the idea of having options. Mason’s 5’11 height was mentioned as being the “shortest”, but I do recall an alley-oop dunk where Mason got so high that his elbow was even with the rim. Where his height hurts him is on defense, but if he has the foot quickness to close-out (which he most definitely does), that will help him on D.

    I consider Mason a bit raw-er version of Sherron Collins. Its all in how you play and what your mindset is. I have no problem with Frank Mason, and honestly its good for his development to get pushed by Frankamp and Graham. I really had NO problem with Sherron Collins (5’10…), with the way he played, because I knew his mindset. And we know Self likes that aggressive mindset, and tries to cultivate it in those that are passive.

    I liked some things Connor Frankamp showed, but again, on defense is where the lack of length hurts. Many college players shoot an “elevation jumper” 3att (think Reed, EJ), and when a 6’2-6’4 guy is shooting an elevation-J, that is hard to guard. Or even try guarding a turn-around-fadeaway-J. Best thing about Frankamp was his stellar A:T ratio, if one looks at it per-minutes-played.

    Graham: Has the tools, lets see how he does against bigger, faster, motivated competition (Div.1)?

    All these guys will benefit (to various degrees) from Selfization and Huditioning. Watch these guys after Yr2…those are the better Self-products on the hardwood.

    Perhaps I can ‘borrow’ a past Presidential quote and spin it for our Jayhawk benefit: “If you counted on KU’s PG play to stay passive, you counted wrong.” I count Mason+Frankamp+Graham…our PGun is loaded.

  • I am curious to see what Andrea Hudy does with the returning players in the off-season; a stronger, more athletic Frankamp could be a game changer.

  • @HighEliteMajor If Self can get those sharpshooters warmed up, primed, cocked and loaded, it will be fun to watch shots rain.

    Greene and Connor should simply step on the floor with the sole intention to shoot.

    Oubre and Selden need to slash, create contact, and go to the line.

    Self needs to tell the four above players, if you get an open look, TAKE IT. Or, If you get a lane, drive it.

  • @drgnslayr Connor and Greene are one shot away from getting freakin’ hot from the arc. I saw it last year and Connor is going to be sick if he ever gets his rhythm.

  • @icthawkfan316 haha You “cringe”? 🙂

  • @ralster Here’s why I think both CF and Mason have upside on defense – tenacity. You can tell both are locked in and giving everything they have. Compare to Tharpe, who many times appeared lackadaisical on defense, less than intense, and somewhat resigned to his fate. I’ve used the term before, but Tharpe lacked “grit.” I am quite sure Mason has it; jury is out on CF, but I sense that he does.

  • I’m still mighty high on Frank Mason, at least his energy and determination on the offensive end of the court. However, if he does not possess the peripheral vision (or perhaps mindset?) to distribute the ball when he races into double and triple coverage, he must be yanked until he learns to do so. He might become more efficient at drawing fouls on his drives: a saving grace if he maintains 80% freethrow shooting. From the vantage point of May offseason, I foresee Mason opening the season at starting point guard, the position his to lose. Graham likely will breathe down his neck until league play; then it’s a tossup. Conner will relieve Wayne and be tossed into late game crucial situations where the long ball is in demand. Or, if both Mason and Graham become subjects of turnover mayhem vs. super defenses, Conner will earn minutes to stabilize ball control.

  • “He may be as talented a lead guard as we’ve had in a while, probably since Sherron (Collins) from an overall talent standpoint,” Self said of the 6-foot-2 Brewster Academy player, who is ranked No. 36 in the recruiting Class of 2014 by

    This is huge for Self to make this claim…ok, you’re the coach. Now my hopes are rising for Graham. What’s a lead guard? Funny HCBS terminology for combo guard?

  • @HighEliteMajor I see Mason playing with reckless abandonment. I see CF as a methodical type player. Connor is very intentional in his play while running plays. He seems very determined to maximize his role on the floor.

    Mason? Just give him the ball and that little sucker will drive or make something happen. It doesn’t matter what. Dang it, something is going to happen when Frank Mason gets the ball: IT’S ON, IT’S GO TIME AND SHOWTIME, and it’s pretty much IN YOUR FACE. That kid has no fear or hesitation and I LIKE IT.

    My jury is out on Graham. However, a statement like this above from Self is just down right “giddy,” right HEM?

  • @truehawk93 I assume lead guard is Self’s way of saying point guard, but since we don’t have point guards at KU (under Self) we have combo guards he had to come up with another way to say point guard.

    As to the quote, it’s high praise, but you have to take every quote Self says after a kid signs with a grain of salt. He has had some over the top things for guys who rode the bench and ended up transferring as well. HEM can probably remember better than me some of the things he’s said about incoming recruits through the years.

  • @icthawkfan316 LOL…it’s scary we know Self all too well or it just proves our many points and conversations about his predictability.

    How many synonyms can we create for PG? Please add to the possible HCBS terminology for the good old fashioned point guard…What else could he possibly come up with for the pg?

    Combo guard

    Lead guard

    Main guard

    Go to guard

    Ranking guard

    El Capitan guard

    True guard

    Multi guard

    Flex guard

    2 in 1 guard

    Alpha guard

    …I’m bored…dang it…nothing bball but the NBA playoffs and LeBron scoring 49pts. I wonder if we’ll hear some more recruiting news from Self?

  • @icthawkfan316 I heard Self’s interview yesterday. He did seem to differentiate between the terms.

    He said our best teams where when we had 2-3 “lead” guards, and he was referring to Robinson, Collins, Chalmers. He seemed to put that somewhere between a point guard and a combo guard.

    He said Tharpe was more of a “small scoring guard.”

    He also referred to being able to get more ball handling in the game with the group we have now.

    So – my take on it:

    1. A point guard is a pure point guard as we envision (Aaron Miles)

    2. A lead guard is not a true point, but has the requisite ball handling to run the point, and skills to play the spot (Chalmers, Collins, Taylor, Robinson)

    3. A combo guard is neither numbers 1 or 2 above, but can handle the ball well enough, if necessary, to be in control of the ball (EJ, maybe Tharpe, Selden, if he could handle the ball)

    4. A small scoring guard is the guy he’s glad transferred (uh, you know).

    Self seemed to like the idea of multiple “lead” guards.

    I don’t know. It was pretty confusing really. I was driving, so I may try to re-listen if they have a podcast.

  • @REHawk

    Mason was a “volume shooter” and scorer in High School and he still has that mindset. The only position that he can play is PG since he does not quite have the gun to play SG, and to be am effective PG he need to lose the “score first” mentality and look for the pass first and the shot second.

    Frankamp, on the other hand, is a coach’s son and as such he has a high Basketball IQ and sometimes he needs to think less and take the shot when available.

    I am sure the coaching staff will work on both and hopefully we have two, much improved players, coming back.

  • @truehawk93

    Sherron used to do the same thing, charge like bull all the way to the base line and get trapped there. Once he got his game under control he was outstanding; hopefully Mason can develop the same way.

  • Seems as if Devonte’ Graham is ready to move to Lawrence for the Summer.IMG_0418.jpg

  • @wrwlumpy I like the way this kid thinks. His mind is looking in the right places. He’s thinking and learning from the right people.

    Devonte’ Graham@im_dat_kid_dtae · May 12

    as a PG If u had Nate robinsons heart , Seth currys shooting ability, westbrooks athleticism , cp3s wisdom,& john walls speed

  • We have an extra scholarship or two for 2015, right?

  • These two footers would give new meaning to the Twin Towers.

    Good Grief

  • @wrwlumpy

    I like him already!

  • @truehawk93

    I’m okay with these guys… as long as they know the following year we’ll be going hard after this guy:

  • Best college point guard … Bobby Hurley.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I can think of several better starting with the big “O” Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, Pete Maravich, Phil Ford and an oldie but goodie Bob Cousy.

  • @HighEliteMajor “Best” = goofiest looking?

  • @JayHawkFanToo Ok, best college point guard since Reagan was president … how about the last 30 years? I stand corrected, though. But since you didn’t cite any in the last 30 years, I assume we can agree Hurley was a bad ass point guard.

    Just for fun, here’s my out of the box, favorite college starting 5 … meaning guys that played their respective positions about as good as someone can play the spot. And I loved their college games.

    1. Bobby Hurley

    2. Ray Allen

    3. Larry Bird

    4. Thomas Robinson

    5. Artis Gilmore

  • @HighEliteMajor You left “GritGuard” off your list! I like it, and I think you may have cracked Self’s guard code and what he really means. “Lead guard” with the qualifier examples of Robinson, Collins, Chalmers, and maybe Tyshawn…tells us that not only do they handle + score (the combo definition)…but they actually can run the team (lead it) efficiently. Tyshawn would be on the fringe based on that. Play-generation and efficient execution, directing people, and being that vocal “leader” Self always talks about year after year.

    To me, he literally is looking for do-it-all types, then goes one concept further: He wants multiple such guys on the floor, so that KU’s attack is runnable by multiple guys on any given possession. That makes us sooo dangerous. Any lead guard can run the play, and accurately time&deliver a lob-assist or feed the post, etc., etc…

    Whatever makes the opposing coach keep guessing is what Self wants. You think Billy Donovan would have been successful with his 1-3-1 trapping zone against the 2008 Jayhawks, who possessed 3 such guards? Its a point on which to contemplate what Self is trying to built-in to our playstyle and resiliency, and why he recruits (or targets) certain types of guards. He doesnt always get the guys he wants, or occasionally a guy plateaus out without being able to shine in all areas, and KU’s play then varies consequently.

  • @HighEliteMajor Its a tough choice on power forward between Thomas Robinson and Nick Collison. And its interesting that both made it to NC games, although neither won it. I know UNC people might like Hansbrough, but TRob and Collison were better in different ways. Darrell Arthur was definitely better than PsychoT, but didnt get the touches to generate the numbers. Blake Griffin played the 5, so I’ll leave him out of the pure4 discussion, I liked him…but not much of a finesse game with him. TRob, Collison, Arhur all had shooting touch to some degree…

    So much of this selection depends on the judging criteria, is it stats, or the collection of skills, or other parameters…?

  • Is Connor Frankamp a “small scoring guard”…?

  • @HighEliteMajor

    In that case how about Jay Williams, Chris Paul, John Wall, Derick Rose, Kemba Walker, Jameer Nelson, Derron Williams. Bob Hurley was an incredible college ball player…but so was Adam Morrison; unfortunately the car accident on his first year in the league changed his career and we will never know good he could have been n the NBA had he not had the accident…he was indeed a bad ass PG…in college.

    It is difficult to say who is/was the best PG since they all played at different times and for different coaches/systems/teams, some of which make you look a better.

    Now about Artis Gilmore…what I remember most about him was his gigantic 'fro. He is undeniably one of the best ever but I personally would go with the “big fella” Kareem.

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