Non Conference Schedule

  • Jamari and Perry review the season

    This does not look as difficult as last year but it is not going to be easy. Kentucky and Florida are obviously tough and to think we may play Michigan State again is pretty nuts. At least MSU and Florida lost a huge amount of Seniors. I guess we will know very early on where we stand when we meet a team like Kentucky on a neutral floor.

  • @joeloveshawks I clicked on the link to check it out, but decided to back away (didn’t realize it was kusports). I refuse to answer their stupid questions. I’ll check it out somewhere else to see how difficult the schedule really is.

    No fault of yours, by the way. Not everyone is as hard headed and stubborn as I am concerning that website.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Thank you!

  • I’m a fan of the tougher schedules. And yeah, Kentucky will be an interesting litmus test. On the subject of Kentucky, I wonder if some of their big man recruits are upset that more of their front court stuck around another year. Lyles & Townes will have to fight for minutes with Lee, Poythress, & Cauley-Stein. I can’t imagine many top 10 recruits signing on to come off the bench.

    The ripple effect of this might be that there will be more top big men to choose from in the 2015 class, as even if a fair number leave UK after this year a couple are almost certain to remain which might be enough to scare off the top guys. Cal not having his pick of the litter opens things up for a lot of teams. At the very least, I would think he would have to work harder to convince elite big men to come, which has it’s own ancillary benefits I suppose. I’m not really in tune with recruiting more than one year out, but a quick look at ESPN’s top 60 include us in on big men prospects such as Ivan Rabb & Stephen Zimmerman.

    Of course if there is an NBA rule change forcing kids to stay 2 years in college it would change the entire dynamic.

  • @icthawkfan316 very interesting! Wondering about the twins w/Ulis coming too? He’s pretty darn good!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Jones? If you’re referring to Tyus Jones, he signed with Duke.

    They do have a couple of good guards coming in with Tyler Ulis & Devin Booker. Ulis is smaller (5’9" ) than Cal’s typical PG recruits, but everything I’ve seen and heard about him has been very good.

  • @icthawkfan316 Ulis!!! Thx!

  • @icthawkfan316 think the twins will move their stock up or not?

  • @Crimsonorblue22 No problem. And yeah he’s good, but ranked in the 20s. Not that uncommon for players in that range to have to come off the bench, particularly if they sign at elite schools. Consider that’s about where EJ was ranked coming out of high school and had to sit two years.

    And it will be interesting to see if the Twins’ stock improves. That’s one thing about Cal, he’s not really known for developing talent, more so just coaching it while it’s there. Consider most of his players in the league and where they where drafted - they’d likely have been drafted about where they went whether they spent a year under Cal or not. We actually have an example that proves this - Enes Kanter. (along these same lines, whether Wiggins improved much this past year didn’t affect his draft stock. He was a lock to be a top pick barring a slide).

    I do think Cal is a decent coach, so if the Twins are willing to improve I think they can. Also consider their draft stock might improve just by coming out in next year’s class. I don’t know that there will be as much top end talent coming out next year (no Wiggins, Parker, Embiid, Exxum, etc.)

  • With my Crimson/Blue glasses firmly Horace-Granted-in-place, here’s some positives for KU facing the nonconf:

    Kentucky – UK loses their beast, Randle…KU adds own beast Cliff Alexander, a Top3 MickeyD. We also replace the post-presence physicality that left with Tarik Black and Embiid. Also, we get to see Top50 6’10 245lb Hunter Mickelson, after a year of Selfization/Huditioning. I think UK frontline might be more athletic, but KU has depth, size, and toughness. Selden, Oubre, Greene, Mason can also run with UK, and the returnees will run our stuff better also.

    FL – rematch in AFH, with “grudge factor” decidedly in KU’s favor. What’s the over/under on if KU can handle a trapping zone this time around? FL does lose a couple of key guys…

    MichSt – always tough against Izzo’s never-say-die bunch, as this is a clash of Systems: IzzoBall vs Selfball. Izzo has beat Self 3 times straight since 2009, and 2 of those games KU had decent leads, but couldnt close out the game. Similar to not being able to closeout vs another B1G team in Michigan…Best thing here is MichState is totally ‘reloading’, as their senior-laden team is gone.

    Temple – Jaybate gave a lot of coaching respect to Fran Dunphy, I recall, but I also remember seeing KU beat the hell out the Temple. Dunphy aged 10yrs in that game. And check the stats on Temple for '13-14: They are near the bottom of the AAC and teetering near .500 ball. I would be concerned for Coach Dunphy’s health–> how many 10yr-aging nights can the man tolerate? royalty program fans/alums, we should remain compassionate… Especially when the Templars have NO horses

    Rider – Only on the list as we have a chance to play them twice. It could give them a glimpse of what being in the BigXII is all about…is always all about KU…I dont even know what a ‘Rider’ is, other than they will be ‘Ridden’ by game’s end…

    Georgetown – Usually a good game where athletes square off, but all the little Selfball details of high%looks, win the possessions (rbds+limit t.o.'s+get steals), and staunch-D…claims another victim. And this G’town team is not the powerhouse of a couple of years ago. This is a typical TV exposure game for KU: big eastern TV market audience, KU wins, and the media says all-the-usual-obligatory-nice things about JTIII/G’town…. Next.

    Finally, I am patiently waiting to unleash Kelly Oubre on the Div.1 world. Jayhawks will come to appreciate his “Teddy Roosevelt” demeanor: a nice, soft spoken, god-fearing kid…who plays basketball with unbridled aggression (like a 6’7 Thor!). Just imagine Cliff Alexander + Kelly Oubre on the same team (& I’m only talking about their playing-mentality)…oops, not a dream, but yet-another-Bill-Self-recruiting-REALITY. The BigXII says “uh-oh” for sure. And maybe we might see UK, FL, MichSt say the same? Should be fun!

    And regarding the Conference season (after the nonconf)…let’s respectfully witness Travis Ford’s final season in the BigXII…one Cowboy soon to be chased off into the sunset. We can compliment his ability to ride well, as he’s always along for the ride.

  • @ralster

    Good read.

    UK - their only question will be how they will make up their offensive gap left behind by Randle and Young. I always valued Young more than Randle. Randle is a one-trick pony (pretty much like Wiggins was), always driving to his left. Young was a creator. But the twins were the difference in March, and reason why Kentucky made it that far. They have finally figured out how to use their size and talent to their advantage. This game will be won out on the point. If we can’t match their offense, we better be able to defend. I hope Devonte brings some defense with him… because Conner and Frank are completely over-matched.

    FL - It should be time we take some revenge on these guys. Might as well do it while they are in complete rebuild mode.

    MSU - Same situation as FL.

    Temple - Always a mystery game. Which Temple team shows up? Which Jayhawk team shows up? Flip a coin…

    Rider - CC Rider? I’ll park my hog in the lawn of AFH for that one.

    Georgeytown - We schedule this game of mugball specifically for bragging rights (for recruiting purposes) back east. Self knows Thompson’s #.


    “That’s one thing about Cal, he’s not really known for developing talent, more so just coaching it while it’s there.”

    I agree… but he is getting a reputation for being able to manage a truckload of talent that can make it to the big game.

    Self is quickly closing the gap on Cal concerning recruiting.

    Cal’s selling points:

    A. Get a chance at a National Championship

    B. Play with a team full of McD’s AA

    C. Good record of producing top NBA picks

    D. Better living conditions than other schools

    Self’s selling points:

    A. Maximize personal skills development between HS and NBA

    B. Maximize personal strength development between HS and NBA (Hudy)

    C. Play with several McD’s AA

    D. A chance of a National Championship

    E. Good recent record of producing top NBA picks

    F. Soon will have better living conditions than other schools

    I think Cal still holds an edge on offering a better shot at a NC. If we could win another one… like say… this year… Self will leap over Cal as a better recruiter because he has more to offer.

  • @drgnslayr E. for cal, you have to throw in the first game loss in the NIT!!!

  • That’s a good schedule with some interesting challenges.

    Rider will be a good game because it’s nice to get a game in against a team that will probably be a tougher team from a smaller conference. Good experience game for us.

    Temple and Georgetown should both be beneficial as those games will draw eyes on the east coast. Both should be KU wins, but both of those teams will probably be very solid.

    I also like the UNLV matchup. That should be a good game in Lawrence.

    Michigan State will be tough because Izzo is always tough, but I don’t think they will have the horsepower next year. They will probably be a year away, but it will be a good test because you cannot beat Michigan State if you are soft.

    Florida will be solid and they have some talent back - both Kasey Hill and Chris Walker stayed in Gainesville and they added three more top 50 recruits. I can imagine a drop off, but I don’t think they fall off the map like they did before because Donovan was able to return some serious talent.

    And then there’s Kentucky. I will say right now, once the twins and Cauley-Stein came back, they became the team to beat for next year. Nobody returns as much talent as them - not even Wisconsin. They lose Randle but add two more interior players. They lose Young but add another very good wing player in Devin Booker. They have interior depth with Cauley-Stein, Lee, Poythress, Towns and Lyles. Foul trouble means literally zero to them up front because they have five legit players. In the backcourt its the twins, Ulis and Booker. Ulis is a good add because they have another ball handler that they can use to keep the pressure on. Devin Booker’s dad should be familiar to us as well - former Mizzou star Melvin Booker. He’s a shooter that should fit right in spreading the floor for UK. Kentucky has all the pieces.

  • @justanotherfan This will be Calipari’s toughest coaching job … keeping guys happy and avoiding dissention. It will be amazing if he can keep that ship together. But they will be the team to beat. I like that. It will build to amazing pressure in March.

  • @HighEliteMajor I even wondered if some of his kids might jump ship w/so many staying.

  • @HighEliteMajor I fully agree that it will create a huge amount of pressure in March. No doubt about it. I was pretty amazed that the pressure did not get to them this year in March after being heralded as a “40-0” team in the preseason. Maybe the 8 seed actually helped them? It made them play with a chip on their shoulder. I don’t see that being an issue for UK this year.

    I truly hate Kentucky and already can’t wait for our game with them in November.

  • We always seem to catch Kentucky when they have a good team. It would have been nice to play them the year before when they were NIT bound. No question that they will be ranked pre-season #1 with Duke a close second; the question is whether all these egos and superstars at UK will be able to play team basketball or they will just try to showcase their talent to improve their draft potential.

  • All interesting comments…

    I think you might be a bit surprised with uk. They look really good on paper. I can’t get over the twins. They just became an enigma to me. I can’t for the life of me figure out how in the heck they weren’t drafted. I think that was a slap in the face. I don’t think Cauley-Stein is all that either. Dakari Johnson is a work in progress.

    If Calipari can get them to believe whatever he feeds them during the season, they’ll be good. But, I definitely see some cracks in paradise. I’m going to make a bold prediction. These incoming young studs are going to be eager to run. However, Calipari has a change of coaching style. He will play with his experience. I think he even sees that talent only goes so far. There will be some damage control this season in Lexington and it’s going to be around a simple little thing called ‘playing time.’ These young studs aren’t coming in as McDs AA to sit or get mop minutes.

    Calipari’s snake oil coaching crap is catching up with him. He’s fed bullcrap to recruits long enough. He’s managed to keep a returning roster, promised two already stellar players in Lee and Willis pt. If you remember they didn’t see much floor this past season either. Now Calipari brings in this new group of recruits, promises Lee and Willis will see more pt for obvious reasons, and keeps his main guards too, which he failed to prepare for the NBA? This is what he’s known for and why recruits come to uk, PREPARE FOR THE NBA. My guess is Lee and Willis threatened to transfer. My guess is Calipari needed them to return with who he is returning to have an experienced squad. He is getting these recruits and feeding them a line of horsecrap and they are eating every crumb.

    If any other coach tells a McD AA they will basically sit the bench the majority of their first year and yield to the current group of returners, most them would pass. He’s feeding these recruits a bunch of crap to get them, and then sitting them, jacking them, and keeping them. Either he’s a super persuasive coach or there’s more being given than words at uk.

    Watch for implosions as the season progresses. Calipari can’t keep his system under control too long. It’s going to blow up from all the manure in Lexington. I still don’t know how he managed to keep Daniel Orton when he arrived.

    Wow…the more I review their loaded roster the harder it is to understand how in the heck he makes them happy:






    This rotation will be difficult to maintain. Then you add the existing bench, with the new recruits? Maybe some of you more experienced fans that know better how to rotate a bench can make sense of Calipari’s roster, because I sure can’t.

  • @truehawk93

    The draft has not yet taken place and the twins can still decide to go to the NBA. This year’s draft is loaded with talent and they were projected to go just outside the lottery picks and so they decided to wait a year; hopefully win a Championship and secure a lottery position next year. They both played very well in the tournament and they are the reason UK went as far as it did. UK will have lots of talent next year, and for change experience as well. Regardless of how you feel about Calipari (I don’t care much for him either) you can’t say that he has not been successful; he is a pretty good coach and wins consistently wherever he goes.

  • @truehawk93

    I’ve thought this way for years… but… maybe Cal’s talent in coaching is about convincing players to accept whatever he does.

    Take Lee for example. Why the heck was that guy sitting on the bench all year? He should have been some team’s star center and possibly in the draft this summer. He wasted a year.

    But we don’t hear him complaining.

    I think Cal is pretty good at reading players’ minds. He makes sure to not recruit too many players that absolutely demand big PT as freshmen. Then he can sell them the idea that their best option for development is to practice every day with a bunch of other McD’s AAs and wait their turn. Granted… there is some merit to that statement.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I didn’t say anything about his success. I’m not doubting his coaching ability on the court. I dropped that a long time ago. Now, my doubt or gripe is with his recruiting. I don’t even question his ability. My post supports his ability to recruit too.

    I want to know how he gets what he wants, then basically screws certain recruits, and still manages to maintain a stellar roster. Maybe my words of condescension were a bit too obvious. But if you read some of my other posts on other threads, I regretfully had to give the man his dues and admitted he’s doing something and unless anyone proves otherwise, he’s a good coach, with great success. I obviously don’t like him, but until all that he’s accused of doing is brought to light, he’s a good coach.

  • @drgnslayr Well, Self does the same thing to a degree. But Self will be honest with players and tells them to “earn” their pt. This is a bad word for elite athletes because they don’t ‘earn’ pt. They get pt based on their talent and skill.

    I’m sure all Calipari does is perfectly honest and he’s a great coach that deserves to be in the HOF? (tongue in cheek) How can a coach forfeit his record as the head coach even be considered in the HOF? Yes, he has a great record, motivates, and coaches his players to F4s and NCs, but you still have the crazy little doubt.

  • @truehawk93

    I think Self has backed off some of his “earn” statements in recruiting. That is evident by Kelly’s comments about Self mentioning the hole left behind by Wiggins for Kelly.

    I think Cal is a great salesman. He is careful what he promises guys and he knows how to talk them down from their expectations (AFTER they sign with UK). There has to be something to it because where is the line of transfers from UK?

  • @drgnslayr Fortunately for Self, he’s not loaded with McD AAs…He doesn’t have that problem. It’s a good problem for a coach to have, but someone is going to get disgruntled or will be extremely patient.

    Self can afford to tell a player like Oubre that he’ll start. It’s pretty easy to justify Oubre over AW3 and even Greene. But, if Self was loaded, it would be a bigger challenge to address with players. Funny how Tharpe and AW3 transfers, and we’re no where near loaded like uk. Then they keep all but two, Randle and Young who deservedly go to the NBA. You’d think uk would have at least 2 transferring. I would think your bigs would be the fullest. He’s packed at the 5 with Cauley-Stein, Johnson, Towns, and Lyles.

    It’s all good. I’m not worried about uk or KU. I think KU is the better team. So my point, before my rant, was the surprise will be to fit all those players together. KU getting uk early may be interesting as Calipari finds his starters. I gave what will likely be Calipari’s starters, but you never know. He’s solid about like we are at the 4 with Willis and Lee. I don’t think Lee plays center though. He’s going to be every bit as good as Randle.

  • Self is quickly closing the gap on Cal concerning recruiting.

    Cal’s selling points:

    A. Get a chance at a National Championship

    B. Play with a team full of McD’s AA

    C. Good record of producing top NBA picks

    D. Better living conditions than other schools

    Self’s selling points:

    A. Maximize personal skills development between HS and NBA

    B. Maximize personal strength development between HS and NBA (Hudy)

    C. Play with several McD’s AA

    D. A chance of a National Championship

    E. Good recent record of producing top NBA picks

    F. Soon will have better living conditions than other schools

    I think Cal still holds an edge on offering a better shot at a NC. If we could win another one… like say… this year… Self will leap over Cal as a better recruiter because he has more to offer.

    A. This and “C” go together.

    B. Is also doubtful. This year is going to be a huge indication to recruits that you will sit a year with a “load of McDs.” Heck, I’m good, but I’m one of many McDs on the team. Recruits have to see this and doubt their pt.

    C. Is in jeopardy for Calipari. I think he is slipping after this year’s fail with the twins.

    Self’s points?

    C. Not several, but a few to keep the team cohesive. Calipari plays the numbers. If he can get a number of McDs and they are willing to play his recruiting game, why not get 3-4 centers, or 2-3 PFs and 1-2 SF or guards. Self recruits based on need, not for the sake of recruiting McDs.

    F. Will definitely help to a degree.

  • @justanotherfan Great summary. Quote of the day, Self will put in on the locker room wall: “…you cannot beat MichSt if you are SOFT…”.

    Completely agree about Kentucky…they have plenty of pieces AND some critical experience returning. Someone mentioned defense…and I recall that WichitaState played solid D all season, but simply couldnt stop the Harrison Twins, one went for 19pts, the other went for 20pts. The classic matchup problem for most college teams. This is where I really like 6’5 Wayne Selden at the 2. And just need toughness at the PG, I’m betting on Frank. Graham could give key minutes in such a game. CF is simply outclassed by this matchup.

    Having taken KY to the Champ game, the Harrisons’ likely have fire in their eyes. The lightbulb just went on. I saw their season-long spotty & disconnected play suddenly crystallize on the biggest stage. Of course, the sarcasm was that they only came back because their draft stock was non-lottery…well, now they are motivated (& experienced). UK deserves to be preseason #1.

  • Here’s one of the reasons that what Calipari has works.

    Basketball is a very naked game. You know exactly where you stand in basketball because you cannot hide from the truth, especially when there’s a lot of talent around.

    Let’s take Poythress. He wasn’t ready after his freshman year. He struggled mightily. So he returned. He didn’t start because Randle was better at the 4 and Young was better on the wing. He saw that every single day in practice. He didn’t have Young’s shooting or ballhandling ability. Cal doesn’t have to tell him that - he can see it because the difference between an NBA caliber talent and someone that’s a good college player is clear when its right in front of you day in and day out.

    Same with Lee. Lee knows that he has to get stronger and better. Why? Because he probably spent a fair amount of time this year in practice with Julius Randle kicking his rear. That will keep you humble very easily.

    Calipari knows that. His best recruiting tool is that you know where you stand as far as NBA preparation because you were practicing against lottery picks all year. Booker knows that the only way he can be a OAD is if he can take it to the Harrison’s starting in October. Lee knows that if he wants to be the guy, he better be ready to handle Towns and Co. Dakari Johnson and Willie Cauley Stein know they will probably have better battles in practice than they will seen in 80% of their games. And this time next year, every single one of those guys will be better prepared for the NBA because of that. That’s what Calipari can sell. And he can sell that even more if it goes to a TAD system.

  • Sorry it took me so long to fix that video in the original post. It finally works.

  • I wish we’d man up and play a real team like Wisconsin 🙂

  • @justanotherfan Beautiful synopsis of why Calipari’s system works (for what he tries to do). You can apply the same logic to the case of Andrew WhiteIII…and I wonder just how much better in practice was Brannen Greene than AWIII? Was it too close to tell, so AWIII had to actually ask Self? Or it wasnt even close…which then makes you wonder if AWIII already knew the answer to the mpg question he had to ask Bill Self…

  • @ralster

    I bet the competition between AWIII and Greene was pretty close. The thing was, even though that competition may have been close, the competition between those guys and Wiggins/Selden was probably not that close.

    There are 80 wing minutes to go around. If Wiggins is getting 30 and Selden is getting 25, and Self has always shown that he will play 2 ball handlers together at least sometimes, that means 65 of those minutes are gone already and you have two guys battling for the 15 remaining minutes. AWIII was a close second in that battle last year.

    He’s seen the tape on Oubre. He’s played against Selden. He’s played against Greene. He knows he wasn’t on Wiggins’ level and probably won’t be on Oubre’s. He’s also behind Selden. That means its him and Greene again for that main backup role on the wing. He knows that if he comes in 2nd again this year, he’s back to playing 5mpg, which I am sure is not how he envisioned his college career playing out. Better to take your career on to another school with two years of eligibility than to redshirt at KU, then end up transferring and be in a position like Brady Heslip where you really only have a chance to play for three seasons.

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