I’m not going to rehash the game as we all saw what happened. I will say this about the refs: no, it’s not their fault we lost, but I would suggest that the huge disparity in number of calls going against us early really tempered our aggressiveness. When you play worrying about fouling out instead of getting in front of your guy, it does affect what you do. I’m not suggesting we would have won if things had been called more evenly early on, but it certainly would have changed how the guys defended.
As for the bigger picture with this team, my first thought is scheduling. More specifically, the extremely high level of difficulty from the start of non-con all the way through the conference tourney. I understand wanting the guys to be battle-tested and I understand the need to take into account RPI and all that stuff as far as March seeding goes, but I don’t know if I can make the argument that we were better off as a #2 seed. I might have rather been a #3 or maybe even a #4 seed that still had some energy and some working ligaments to make a run.
I don’t want to turn this into a political statement, so please don’t construe this example as my pushing some political agenda, but the economist Arthur Laffer postulated his Laffer curve to show how tax rates affect revenues. Long story short, there is a point of diminishing returns where too much taxation actually results in declining revenues. Carrying this over to KU basketball, is too tough a schedule actually creating a point of diminishing returns? Have we reached a point where the gauntlet is too tough, too demanding and too steep to produce positive results? I’m not saying we need to throttle a bunch of patsies, but the season is grueling and long as it is. It would be nice to catch our collective breaths once in a while with a blow out win against a nobody. So, instead of losing to Temple by 25, we beat up on the Red Hat Society All-Stars, expend less energy, walk out with a W and we don’t get beat up in the process.
My only other major concern is the OAD era. IMO, one of two things has to give here. We either go full bore into it and Self changes his coaching philosophy or we go for 3 and 4 year kids who will be here long enough to learn the complexities of Self’s coaching system. Right now we’ve got two competing ideals butting heads and it’s causing some dissonance.
All in all, I’m still bummed about yesterday and it’ll take me a bit of time to move past the loss as I tend to take these harder than I probably should. I keep telling myself to invest less emotionally during the games, but I’ve continually failed on that front for as long as I can recall. In my real life, I can do something to change my circumstances. As a fan, I’m totally powerless to change anything about the outcome and that’s what gets me the most.
Thanks to all you guys and gals for offering a huge shoulder to cry on and to the creators of this forum for the opportunity to speak freely about all things KU. It truly is good therapy.
Rock Chalk to everyone!