Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Henry or Wall? Both freshmen having big years

Kansas forward Xavier Henry elevates to the bucket past La Salle guard Kimmani Barrett during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas forward Xavier Henry elevates to the bucket past La Salle guard Kimmani Barrett during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Xavier captures honor again

Xavier Henry was named the Big 12 player of the week for the second straight week. The freshman is leading the team in scoring with 18 points per game.

Kentucky’s John Wall probably leads Kansas University’s Xavier Henry in the publicity department.

But as Jayhawk coach Bill Self observed on Monday’s Big 12 coaches conference call, the numbers put up by KU’s freshman sensation “are very comparable to what John has done.”

Self wasn’t stumping for Henry for any mythical national rookie-of-the-year honors. He was just discussing the progress of KU’s combo guard, who Self said actually has been better than expected.

Here’s a look at the numbers through nine games of Wall and Henry:

• The 6-foot-4 Wall has averaged 18.1 ppg in 35.1 minutes, the 6-6 Henry 18.0 ppg in 27.0 minutes.

• Henry has hit 55 of 99 shots for 55.6 percent, Wall 54 of 100 shots for 54 percent.

• Henry has made 24 of 45 threes for 53.3 percent, Wall seven of 19 threes for 36.8 percent.

• Henry has converted 28 of 34 free throws for 82.4 percent, Wall 48 of 61 for 78.7 percent.

• Both players have 37 rebounds. Wall has 64 assists, 39 turnovers, 25 steals and five blocks; Henry has 16 assists, 18 turnovers, 16 steals and seven blocks.

“I’m not saying one is better. I’m not trying to say that at all,” Self said. “John has gotten a lot of attention so far and justifiably so.”

Both players Monday were tapped their conference’s rookie of the week. Wall was honored for the fourth straight week, Henry the second in a row.

“Xavier has been a model of consistency,” Self said. “You don’t see that often with freshmen.

“He’s maybe taken five or seven (bad) shots all season. For a scorer’s mentality, to only take that many is remarkable to me. I don’t know if he’ll average this many points the rest of the season. Nobody can argue with his efficiency. If he’s averaging 12 shots a game and getting 18 as a freshman, that’s very efficient.”

Taylor likely to start

Kansas coach Bill Self has been impressed with the play of sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor, who has had 12 assists and no turnovers the last two games.

“Tyshawn has definitely earned his (starting) spot back. He’s been good the last two games,” Self said on his Hawk Talk radio show. Freshman Elijah Johnson started the past two games.

“He (Taylor) has given himself up defensively in doing what we want him to do, and I think he’s made good progress.”

Johnson labored a bit in Saturday’s victory over La Salle.

“Elijah turned his ankle. He tripped the first play of the game. It bothered him. He didn’t look as explosive to me,” said Self, who also has had high praise for the Las Vegas native his rookie season.

Withey close to playing

Self hopes Arizona transfer Jeff Withey will be eligible to play in Saturday’s 11 a.m. home game against Michigan. He had to sit out two semesters in accordance with NCAA transfer rules.

“We’ve got to get Jeff’s grades turned in, then he’ll be automatically cleared to play,” Self said. “We think we can (get them turned in by game time). I don’t know how much impact he’ll have on the team early. He hasn’t been 100 percent healthy yet (recovering from a stress fracture in his right knee). Our trainer wants Jeff to go up and down to play full-court this week the entire practice. He hasn’t had the reps. I can’t see just putting him out there, just because the other guys have a better understanding of what to do in certain areas.”

Morningstar debut

Self said guard Brady Morningstar’s one-semester suspension ends Saturday.

“I believe getting Brady back will help us take a step (forward),” Self said. “Not that he’ll play a ton of minutes, but he’ll give us a great post feeder, also our best perimeter defender, more than likely. He’s a guy that can spot up and make shots. He can play off other guys better than a lot of our young kids can.”

Green game

ESPN is promoting Saturday as a “Green Game.” The network has been on campus filming “sustainability” efforts of both KU and the city of Lawrence.

These efforts will be featured throughout the telecast.

“I think we will wear green warmups or a shirt,” Self said on Hawk Talk. “It is a good cause, brings attention to it. We’ll participate any way they want.”

KU associate AD Jim Marchiony said plans are for the Jayhawks to wear green shirts during warmups.

“It’s the first one they’ve ever done,” Marchiony said of the network. “We’ve been working with ESPN on this for months.”

Details will be released by KU today.

Gill introduced

Several members of KU’s basketball staff attended Turner Gill’s introductory news conference Monday. KU coach Self was at a Boys and Girls Club charity event in Kansas City and couldn’t attend.

“Our new football coach pretty much wowed everybody by his remarks. I heard it went well,” Self said.

Self’s wife, Cindy, and son, Tyler, actually met Gill’s wife, Gail, last year at the KU-Nebraska football game in Lincoln.

“Cindy and Tyler were sitting there by a lady whose daughter was on our dance team,” Self said. “She said her husband coached football somewhere and her daughter was on the dance team. Cindy couldn’t figure it out. I said, ‘That was probably Turner Gill’s wife because they knew so much about Nebraska and KU and her husband coached somewhere else.’ So they’ve unofficially met.”

Of Gill, Self said: “He was a little bit of a superior athlete and probably a better student (than Self) too. I’m excited for Turner and his family. I hope everything works out for our prior staff, too. A lot of guys from the head coach on down have done a lot of good for this university. Hopefully it’ll be a win/win for everybody.”


The Jayhawks practiced an hour and a half on first day of finals week. “It’s the biggest week of the year — this and a week in the spring,” Self said of exam time.


craigers 11 years, 2 months ago

I am glad we have Xavier over Wall. Wall seems to be a player that needs to be in control while Xavier seems to be a better team player who can mesh well with others and X still takes care of business. Wouldn't trade our current team or members on it for anybody.

rockchalkAZ 11 years, 2 months ago

ok, here's a random question but one i've been wondering... would you trade X for B-Rush? I see a lot of similarities in their games, and I'm pretty sure I'd take X.

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

Green game: the new decorative globde light fixtures next to Oread Hotel north of Union are LED using 1/3 energy consumption as the normal types. Similar lights used on new Bauer Farms project & parts of downtown.

New High performance LED decorative light globes will measurably reduce energy consumption for increased energy savings.

Thanks for commercial.

Go Green, Crimson & Blue

jcsmith 11 years, 2 months ago

I would trade X for Rush in a heart beat. Rush was lock down. X is Xcellent, but Rush was the $h*7.

Better yet, why not have them both on the same team. Can you say, unstoppable.

jcsmith 11 years, 2 months ago

Granted, I guess it depends on what year of Rush we're talkin about though. X is at the same level as a freshman as Rush was as probably a Junior. Rush didnt average 18 a game though because I feel he had better scorers around him. I would still take Rush though. He was one of my favs.

Ben Kane 11 years, 2 months ago

Every day some jerk at work (in Lexington) tells me how awesome it would be if Kentucky had KU on schedule so they could beat us down.

Every day I hear about the mighty John Wall.

Every day I get told that Kentucky will win it all.

These fools are blinded by march. I keep telling them I only care about one game at a time and if I did look forward it would only be to conference play, but they don't get it. Too bad they play in a conference with only a couple of good teams. Put em in the big12 and lets see.

bradynsdad 11 years, 2 months ago

first thing if you are comparing xavier to rush and this kid isnt even a dozen games into his freshman year then why wouldnt you pick him, not that rush wasnt clutch but look how many people xavier has been compared to already. kentucky is a good team but they are very young and i dont see them making it to the national championship they are not mature enough.

Timmay97 11 years, 2 months ago

It's simple........combine Xavier's offensive game and Brandon's defensive game and you would have as close as you could get to Lebron James.

To me, Xavier's offensive game is far better than Rush was even as a junior. Brandon was too hesitant. You can't use the excuse that he had better players and scorers around him because even Bill Self said that he had to be more agressive. Look at Rush's output in the NBA. Granger is hurt and he's posting 5 points in 39 minutes. He hasn't changed from college.

As for Xavier.......he has a pure scorers mentality. He'll shoot over you, drive past you, or just simply dunk on you. He's extremely smooth and very much in control. He's stronger and already built to play in the NBA. And best of all......he's lefty. Anyone who's played basketball should know that lefties do have an advantage. The mindset of the defender is to guard players to their left. Bad idea with Henry. Henry also goes right far better than Rush ever went left.

I loved Brandon Rush.......without him, KU would never have won the title. But it's crazy to think that he was a better player than Xavier WILL be. Henry is only a freshman and he's already distancing himself from Rush........though he will never be as good a defender.

Either way, they are both Jayhawks and I will support and watch them both.

Joel Hood 11 years, 2 months ago

toto... thanks for the SI link.

At this point in his frosh year, I think X is ahead of Brandon. Brandon was more inconsistent than X (1st semester frosh year) and I feel that X brings more energy and athleticism to the team. Brandon seemed to take games off early in his career.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 2 months ago

I am so sick of this conversation. ESPN, CNNSI, CBSSPORTS, FOXSPORTS, and whatever other national sports media can't get enough of John Wall. John Wall is a heck of talent, but he is averaging 4.8 turnovers a game and it is left to be determined whether on not he can hit the college "3" let alone the NBA "3".

X Henry is a heck of a talent, but he is a little low on the rebounding category and I think it is yet to be determined whether or not he can be a consistent slasher and creator. He had a great game in that department against La Salle so I hope he keeps it up.

John Wall will be the #1 pick in the Draft and X is "Clawing" to prove he deserves to be a lottery pick. They both have things they need to work on so we'll see how it progresses with 25 percent of the season over. 75% left so still a lot of ball to be played.

Marcia Parsons 11 years, 2 months ago

Brandon was a great defender, but he grew into it. He didn't know how to play defense when he was a freshman. I don't see why X won't progress the same way for as long as he's here. He has said he never played defense before he came to KU. Here's hoping he learns to excell at that as well.

Chris Shaw 11 years, 2 months ago

chuckberry: It's the same here in Charlotte and Tar Heel Country. All you can do is shake your head and say, "Your right, UNC or Kentucky is the best team in the country and they have the best players"! Then when Kansas kicks their arse you simply respond with, "I thought UNC or Kentucky was the best in the country and had the best players"? And then just leave it at that. LOL!

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

We may see a great early defensive test for X when we play Michigan. I hope we get to see him guard Manny Harris. The guy is a legit scorer--he averages over 22 ppg this year after averaging over 16 ppg both his FR and SO yrs. He's around 6'5 and 185. He doesn't shoot the 3 very well, but he's great at getting to the rim and shoots a lot of free throws (about as many as X and Aldrich combined on the year).

X is a wonderfully gifted offensive player. I'd love to see him neutralize Harris on the defensive end Saturday! If he does, I'll feel a lot better about our chances against UT and in the tournament.

gthejayhawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Man made global warming/climate change is the biggest SCAM ever purpotrated on the American people.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

“Xavier has been a model of consistency,” Self said. “You don’t see that often with freshmen.

This is the key factor between the two players. We all know both are good, but X seems to have the edge on paper. Also, Wall is a "Me"'s the John Wall show at uk. He's not a team player and that's because all of the plays revolve around him. If you take him out of the equation, uk is really nothing on many levels.

X= FOY (freshman player of the year)

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

truehawk.....If you look at the numbers, Wall isn't really a "Me" player. He's actually taken about the same number of shots, but fewer shots per minute than X. He's the point guard, so he has the ball in his hands more. He has more chances to impact the game with passing because of his position. Wall is a better defender at this point and creates a lot of his offense off of defense. Wall really does mean more to his team than X--partly because he's the PG and partly because X has experienced players around him so he doesn't have to do more.

Hopefully, Wall can keep his nose clean and doesn't run into trouble with the NCAA because he's a great player......just like our X-man.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

kushaw (anonymous) says... X Henry is a heck of a talent, but he is a little low on the rebounding category

shaw- I think this statement has more to do with KU's ability to rebound (which is ?? right now- LOL). Wall get's long rebounds that other big men can't get to. X's rebounds are true boards. I guarantee you Wall isn't inside fighting with the trees. He's only 6-2 or 6-3!! X has him on the size.

Wall's TOs are devastating. His out of control narcissistic type play is too radical and he has one goal in mind: play, be seen and go to the NBA!! He doesn't have a good head on his shoulders and frankly I wouldn't want the ball in his hands come crunch time in a game. He can't shoot the trey consistently. Heck, the twins are more consistent with the trey than Wall! He is good, quick and talented. He's not team material.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

KU- Right! All because he is the pt guard and it's his job to defend a bit more aggressively. It's difficult to compare them because they do have slightly different roles. As a pure defender, Wall has a small edge on X . It would be better to compare Wall to our pt guards than X. I think we're forcing the comparison because they are fresmen sensations.

Don't think Wall will keep clean. Either him or his coach will do something or has done something to seal his fate. I've never liked Wall, even when we recruited him.

justanotherfan 11 years, 2 months ago

Wall is a point guard, has played point since he was like 11. Of course he needs to be in control to be at his best. However, he plays in a backcourt with another point guard, and he does move off the ball sometimes. Bottom line is, Wall is a lot better than many people (especially on this board) thought he would be at this point.

X is also a lot better than many people (even on this board) thought he would be, and he does it all with pure talent, not disrupting the flow of the team, but always getting his points anyway.

Bottom line is, people need to get used to the fact that, with the current rule the way it is, freshmen are going to consistently be the best (or among the best) players in the country.

Think of it this way. If all high school senior classes are more or less the same, it should be expected that the freshmen would be the most talented class in college in any given year. For example, Sherron Collins was the #21 player in his high school class according to Rivals. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant were the top 2 players in the class. If both were still in college, everyone would expect them to be hailed (deservedly so) as top players. Michael Beasley and Derrick Rose were in the top 3 in their class. If they were still in college, they would be hailed as stars based on their talent. UCLA wishes Jrue Holiday was still in Westwood. USC wishes Demar DeRozan was still across town in Troy. But they aren't.

So which players are (likely) the most talented in college basketball. Well, if you believe each class is roughly the same, it has to be the freshmen. 5 of the top six (Scotty Hopson) would be sophs are in the NBA. Only one (Kyle Singler) of the top 14 would be juniors are still on campus. None of the top 13 players from the senior class remains on campus. Yet all of the top freshmen remain.

We've seen for ourselves what a top 10 freshman looks like up close in X. Now that potential one and done players aren't just ending up on average teams like K-State, or USC, but are coming in to programs that have a solid cast around them like KU, Texas, UNC and others, I wouldn't be surprised if the next few titles are fueled by players that are one and dones on teams they helped push from good to great, which is what X does for us.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

Wow! You're brutally honest bhann. "Very poor" on D? Really? Very Poor? You do have an opinion. "Right now, 'Hall' is much better"? Really? Much better?

Hmmm...would you want the ball in freshman 'Hall's' hands with his TO numbers? They don't have any other go to players at this point on the perimeter. He's all they've got. They have no choice but to go with 'Hall'.

Of course winners want the ball in the their hands. Especially if when you want to go to the NBA! He has no other teammates. 'Hall' is the team my friend. He might give Patterson a chance if feels really generous with the ball. LOL I think the 'Hall' is a ball hog plain and simple. I don't care what the paper says. It's his mentality!! I like Avery at UT much better than 'Hall'.

Interesting comments bhann!! I like your avatar. I hope you're as crimson and blue as your avatar!


Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

justanotherfan (anonymous) says... I wouldn't be surprised if the next few titles are fueled by players that are one and dones on teams they helped push from good to great, which is what X does for us.

Bingo! You said it in this sentence much better. My point exactly. It takes a team to win titles, not individuals. This is the single most biggest problem with young players. No intelligent person of bball would doubt talent. I do question a freshman with a Carmello, Bryant or Le Bron mentality in college. They have to learn and understand the game isn't about "ME". It's about your team. This is exactly what X has learned. He is learning there is much more to his game.

If what you're saying is true about Wall, then why go to college? Why not go to the NBA Kobe or Le Bron style? He's not good enough and he's too young and inexperienced. He's not freaking mini Iverson in college. He's not learning or growing. According to most, he's arrived and should be immediately drafted in the NBA. Heck, let's get him recruited even before conference play begins. LOL I think this is what shaw is alluding to at this point in his career. He's good, but not any better than other freshmen in the nation.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

The obvious answer to the question in the title of the article is X, at least for Kansas. Already having pre-season all-american Sherron Collins at the point and with the team in need of a true wing player, X is a perfect fit. I'm not sure X wouldn't have been a better fit for Kentucky as well, as they also have Eric Bledsoe, another freshman point guard who has looked very impressive when given the opportunities. Of course, since Kentucky & Calisleazy are all about hype, Wall is perfect in this capacity.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

truehawk......I get that you don't like Wall, but to call him a ball hog is just ignoring the truth. Have you watched him play? He makes everybody on the floor with him better. That's the hallmark of a great point guard. In that sense, he's better than Sherron. He's averaging about 6.5 assists per game. How is that being a ball hog? Sherron is averaging 4.4.

Now, if you REALLY want to dislike the on-court demeanor of a former KU recruit watch Lance Stephenson. As I posted elsewhere yesterday, he was thoroughly disgusting when his Cincinnati team played Xavier. At one point, after he made a great play he ran by the Xavier bench jawing and one of the Xavier players on the bench finally had enough and flipped him off. Great player, but terrible demeanor.

Brett Forreal 11 years, 2 months ago

It is scary to think, that if the slime Cal wouldn't have left for UK then these two more than likely would be on the same team in Memphis. That would have been one heck of a front court and factor in nightmare city. Thank goodness that things happen for a reason and X came to KU.
I hate to admit it, but X is as good as gone to the NBA, unless something unexpected happens. With his numbers this early, and the rumors that he would have went to the NBA right after HS means X is gone, but with a championship though! I guess though, weird things happen and maybe X could stay?

David Leathers 11 years, 2 months ago

Since we're doing comparisons I did a little research and came up with one of my own. Here are the averages for the first 10 games of the 07-08 championship game vs the first nine of this year's undefeated teams:

07-08 - (10-0) 85 pts. per game, 58.6 pts. against per game, 26.4 pt. margin of victory

       Games against unranked Arizona (76-72), at #24 USC (59-55), Louisiana-Monroe, UMKC, Washburn, N. Arizona, Florida Atlantic, Eastern Washington, DePaul, and Ohio.

2009 - (9-0) 90.3 pts. per game, 57.7 pts. against per game, 32.9 pt. margin of victory

        Games against unranked Memphis (57-55), unranked UCLA (73-61), Hofstra, Central Arkansas, Pakland, Tennessee Tech., Alcorn St., Radford, and LaSalle.

Now, these schedules seem somewhat comparable even though UCLA and Memphis are unranked. In 2007 USC was 2 spots from being unranked and Arizona finished that season 19-15. USC ended 21-12.

After seeing these stats and doing the comparisons, I can't wait to see what happens this year. I just have a feeling that we may be just a wee bit better than that championship team by the end of season. Which only means one thing, another championship.

thmdmph 11 years, 2 months ago

There's a lot of good points noted by everybody on this post so far. I just want to throw in my 2 cents. Wall and X are great players, no question. And like truehawk said, comparing these 2 guys is difficult because they play different positions, so the number comparisons isn't a good method. It comes down to a matter of opinion.

I always like the debate re. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird - it's a similar obstacle. Same thing here - it's like comparing a star quarterback to a star receiver. The majority of people will say Magic Johnson is better, but I'd disagree. The problem with comparing Johnson vs Bird or Wall vs X is, many times, people will vote for the point or quarterback or the play maker. The player with more flash and glamour will win 9 out of 10 times. X and Bird do not have tons of flash. They don't fly around aerodynamically wowing fans and throwing the balls behind their heads/backs. But they produce quitely and consistently do so. They make the team around them better even though they're not the point.

By draft time, I do agree that Wall will likely be #1 draft, but I still think X is a better player, more consistent player, more well rounded player.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

KU- Funny! I actually liked Stephenson. I went online and loved his overall attitude. He was a mentally and physically tough player. I wouldn't say I don't like LS, but I would have picked Lance over Wall. I don't want to get into the issues we all learned over the course of the recruiting process, but let's just say Lance wasn't the best fit. I don't think bball had anything to do with my final opinion of Lance, but I still like him and always will. I learned some things early during that recruiting fiasco that he had some other issues. That jawing is LS and that's his style. He comes from a tough neighborhood. That tough attitude will serve him well.

Yes, I'm glad you get my disgust for Wall. I'm not denying the "truth" about Wall. I just never wanted him at KU. I think icthawkfan316 made a good point about how well Wall fit the Calisleazy bball freak show, starring John Wall and his NBA agent Coach Sleazy himself! LOL

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

Mz (anonymous) says... That would have been one heck of a front court and factor in nightmare city

Mz- My son loves John Deere tractors, he's two yrs old! I have a John Deere riding lawnmower and he also has some John Deere cowboy boots!! LOL

Cousins is sort of an immature big man. I'm not too impressed with his play so far. He has some issues and I don't think Sleazy will ever develop him and prepare him as a OAD for the NBA. He's going to get eaten alive in the NBA. He'll be a little boy playing with men, just like his teammate Wall. He never developed Joey Dorsey to be the big man he could've been at the next level. Sleazy is a guard's coach.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 2 months ago

Maybe I'm just jaded, but I think if Wall would have come here and Henry would have gone to UK, people would talk about Xavier instead. There is just something about the hype machine that John Calipari creates while Self doesn't have to go out and be a media whore. Calipari's "aw shucks, we should really be 4-5 right now schtick" is stomach turning. Some people are just self promoters and and Calipari is the king of that. Not saying Wall isn't a very good player because he is, but his shooting weaknesses are a little concerning considering he's a guard and will not be able to get to the rack so easily in the NBA.

The good thing is that NBA scouts are typically smart. No matter where a kid goes, he's on the radar and the scouts eveluate the player more than the team or the kid's coach.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

truehawk - I haven't paid much attention to Cousins' play so I can't comment intelligently on his game. I do agree with you 100% that Calisleazy is a guard's coach, with his dribble-drive offense he runs. It's too bad that he somehow suckered both Cousins and Orton (who was going there anyway if memory serves, but could have opted to go elsewhere), two of the better big men in this freshman class, to waste their time there. I guess the one exception to this is Marcus Camby turned out to be a pretty legitimate big man under his tutelage. Hopefully future recruits will take notice though to his unsuccessful track record of coaching bigs.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Tuesday Wondering about Bill and Brady:

“I believe getting Brady back will help us take a step (forward),” Self said. “Not that he’ll play a ton of minutes, but he’ll give us a great post feeder, also our best perimeter defender, more than likely. He’s a guy that can spot up and make shots. He can play off other guys better than a lot of our young kids can.”--Bill Self

Not that he'll play a ton of minutes? Can he really mean it? Mr. Self Defense and Team Player has gotten addicted to a scorer at the 3 and to blazing speed at the 2 and so will not give a "great post feeder," "our best perimeter defender," a spot up trinitarian, and a guy "who plays off other guys" better than our starters, significant minutes?

I suppose in the age of simultaneous global warming and global cooling, depending on whom writes the research check, hell could freeze over and Self would ignore Brady on his return.

But I can hardly wait for the first close game against a really good defensive team in which Xavier is shooting 35% from trey, the team is shooting, say, a combined 40% from the field, and Quantum T has 3 TOs.

Yeah, Coach, Brady isn't going to play a combined 20 minutes at both the 3 and the 2. :-)

Ah, coaches. They'll say anything to keep the deck hands calm, even as the ship is transitioning into its next phase.

Perhaps Coach Self was only referring to the Michigan game, when he spoke of Brady not getting a ton of minutes.

Michigan lacks bigs with muscle and experience, and it has no prison bodies on the perimeter, so, naturally, Michigan loses frequently. John Beillin is discovering that he too needs prison bodies in today's game.

Still, John Beillin's Wolverines are strung offensively in a way that, though they are not likely to beat KU, they could put Xavier in the defensive cross hairs for the first time this season.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Manny Harris is a 6'5" 185 lb. junior wing who penetrates, draws fouls and is their first option, which means Xavier is actually going to have to defend an opponent's top perimeter player. Xavier is an inch taller and much stronger, so he will muscle him. And since Manny has modest trifectation, and since X has Cole Train backing him up, like a big brother in a neighborhood fight, Xavier can probably lay off and not get burned too badly outside. In dense pack mode, X and Cole can make Manny's flights in the unfriendly skies over Paintville strictly a coach class experience. But...

Xavier also will get much less help from Marcus/Kieff this game than he has up to now, because they are going to have their hands full with 6'8" 235 lbs. DeShawn Sims, UM's second option on offense.

Other things equal, a speedy penetrator, plus less help from the 4, plus oh so rough Big Ten style play, spells Xavier getting more fouls than usual.

Also, it is about time for X to have a cold game or two from trifectaville. He shot 80 percent from downtown against LaSalle, and he's 53% from the central business district for the season.

Thus, it is not really a Henny Penny, sky-is-falling thing to expect Xavier to get fouled up the first half and not be hitting a lot of threes, even if he were containing Manny.

As a team against LaSalle, KU shot 47% beyond the stripe of the three-pointed seductress called Lady Treylina, who is fickle and at a moment's notice can turn into the evil three-whipped dominatrix going under the alias Madame No Make.

KU is due to have to win a game without the 3.

Xavier could have some fouls and not be hot.

Sherron will probably pick up the trey shooting chores at least enough to save the day, after his 1-12 humiliation vs. LaSalle.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

But who will guard Manny, if the game were at all close, and Xavier got a bit fouled up?

It seems Self has three probable paths.

  1. Move Marcus out to the three and let him really cast a tall shadow on Manny, let Kieff and Withey bang DeShawn into the Wakarusa, and know that Manny's speed will hang some fouls on Marcus.


  1. Eat his words and call the number of the sleepy-eyed guy at the end of the bench, who did the Turnpike Dipsy Doodle with a little too much barley in his blood awhile back.


  1. Put C.J. Henry in for the X Man and give C.J. a crack at superbly feeding Cole again in the paint, as occurred in the LaSalle game. Three combo guards, two of whom that can pot the triceratop. And one, C.J., who is a natural born Cole-feeder. The question is could C.J. play the D required at the 3?

Now that I think about it, Self might well first go to C.J., especially to keep Brady thinking that the old Coach has been pining away waiting for Brady's manifold "team" virtues.

But when it gets tight, when, as my father used to say, the hairs get short, when a defensively anal coach like Self, who is a nail biter from birth, sees a three point game on the big board, and just witnessed a TO by somebody, the overwhelming urge for Self is going to be, "Get in there, Brady!" And that is going to be followed by a second overwhelming urge: "Stay in there, Brady!"

In the old movies, the hero alway used to have a rummy side kick that caused him trouble with his drinking, but who always bailed the hero out of jams when the chips were down.

Sometimes, in close games, I think of Bill Self as John Wayne and Brady Morningstar as a Gabby Hayes. :-)

I beg the pardon of younger readers who may not recall such old movies.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

End Note:

I suppose there is a fourth path. It could be that Self will simply assign Quantum T to guard Manny and hope for the best. However it goes, it will be interesting to watch the way Brady is used this first game.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Jaminrawk - I think you're right to an extent, that if the players switched schools X would be getting more hype, but I don't think that Wall would fall completely off the radar. I also think it's a function of Calisleazy, one of the most successful and controversial coaches, taking the reigns in his first year at one of the most storied basketball programs. Much of the media attention was going to be on Kentucky this year anyway because of the coaching situation, and the fact that John Wall, wherever he would have gone to school, is almost undoubtedly going to be the #1 pick in the draft next year...well it just created the perfect storm for all of this hype. Big name, controversial coach + one of the top 5 coaching gigs in the country + crazy talented freshman projected to be the #1 pick in the draft + playing on a team that has a legitimate chance to make it to the Final Four + being on the east coast = media hype overkill! So yeah, you subtract Wall & add X to that equation and X probably gets some more love, although it's possible that it's spread around more evenly and he shares the spotlight with Cousins, Orton, & Bledsoe. If anything, I think Wall being the media sensation that he has become has taken the focus off Calisleazy somewhat, whereas if it were as I had theorized a more even distribution of coverage to the freshman class then maybe we'd have to endure even more of the spotlight on Calisleazy himself.

ku_foaf 11 years, 2 months ago

Interesting article. I have to admit I didn't know their performances matched so closely. I have to be honest, Wall seems much more active and the center of the game when he's in. He still makes dumb freshman mistakes, though. I cringe a bit when seeing Xavier handle to the ball. Wall definitely has the advantage there. Xavier is a powerful yet "quiet" scorer like Paul Pierce was. All of a sudden, he has 20 pts.

ku_foaf 11 years, 2 months ago


I disagree about X being on the same level as B. Rush as a junior. Offensively, yes, he is ahead and scores like a junior. As a total package, I'd take Rush as a freshman over X as a freshman. I think he averaged about 14 pts to X's 18. In my opinion, Rush was the best freshman (though he was 20 years old!) since Manning. I can't say too much about Pierce, as I didn't get to see him play much. I was stuck in SEC/ACC country.

X is kind of quiet, and does more than I notice, but Rush had a leg up on defense and ball handling. X is along the Paul Pierce and Darrell Arthur mold, so I'm not complaining.

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate old movie drinking buddy rise to the call exception: High Noon.

don't forsake me oh my darlin'

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

sitting around comparing best players, X or Brandon, best guards, Jo Jo, Darnel Valentive v. Jacque or RussRob/Mario

best ever game in AFH: Wilt, Oscar, Stallworth, Manning, Collison, Lafrentz, Gooden, Peirce, I was wondering...

wouldn't it bite to be MU fan and be touting memory of Jon Sunvold & Anthony Peeler on the boards today.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Gotta love Jaybate - taking a direct quote from HCBS and turning it into a hollywood script for his boy Brady; a tale of redemption and game-saving heroics. Clearly this is a debate that could go on all season, you're preference and mythologizing of Brady and general distrust of X vs. my faith in X and downplaying of Brady's abilities. Don't get me wrong, I like Brady, but I think hanging on to what he did last year holds this year's team back. He has his strengths no doubt. Great defender. Good shooter. However, maybe the most telling example as to how HCBS might handle things when the chips are down is the championship game against memphis. I don't think anyone would argue that Sherron Collins as a sophmore was a better defender than a tall, longer Russell Robinson as a senior, yet with the game on the line it Collins in the game and not RR. Collins was a better shooter and driver than RR, and I think the same comparison could be made for X and Brady. Assuming X hasn't fouled out (which I have I guess is possible, he had 4 in the Lasalle game) I think it will be him in there and not Brady. Of course there is always the possiblity that it's Brady in there and not TT, which I think is actually more possible given TT propensity for reckless play (although he's definitely played a much tighter, controlled game the last two times out off the bench). I agree, it will be interesting to see the way Brady is used.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

As for it being "about time for X to have a cold game or two from trifectaville"...that's a common flaw in logic. That theory is relying on the laws of probability, the thinking being X has been hot shooting for the first 9 games and that it's highly unlikely for a player to shoot that well for 10 consecutive games right? It sounds good, but what's really at play is not the laws of probability, but the law of independent chance. X does not have to have 10 great shooting games in a row, he simply has to have one...this one. Let me put it another way. Say I'm flipping a coin and I say it's going to land on heads 10 times in a row. The laws of probability are in effect here, as it is unlikely that for 10 consecutive flips it will land on the same side and you'd take that bet. However, if I were to tell you I've flipped the coin 9 times and it's landed on tails all 9 times, would you say that it is "about time" for it to land on heads and that given the previous 9 flips it is more likely to land on heads? No. The odds are even. One flip. 50/50 chance. Because the previous 9 flips are irrelevant, just as the previous 9 games are irrelevant. X has the same likelihood of shooting well in this game as he has any of his previous games.

Smasher88 11 years, 2 months ago

All good posts fellas. Really got me thinking. I usually tend to simplify a comparison like this as much as possible and this is what i came up with. If i'm a NBA scout at the end of this season and I had to choose between the two, It's X by a land slide. As equal as they seem to be, even at two different positions, why wouldn't you take the bigger, more well rounded of the two? I think X has the advantage when it comes to the chance of making the larger impact at the next level. X is doing all that he's doing with two pre-season all-americans right next to him. I can't see how that and that alone wouldn't propel X right past Wall in any comparison. I can't imagine where this kid will be after a year under Bill and his assistants instruction. Definitely made the right choice coming here and not following that d-bag to Kentucky.

As for Brady, I'm sure he'll get his minutes. Obviously not the minutes he was getting a year ago but if he's still got his shot fallen, I'd say we'll see plenty of Brady. Just can't ignore his defensive abilities along with his experience. These guys are good, no doubt about it. (Calihawk, that comparison is frightening) But we still have a lot of young guys and young guys usually make the most mistakes. And that's when our older guys are gonna be pullin us along. Don't really know much about withey, gettin a little excited.

Smasher88 11 years, 2 months ago

ps. Icthawkfan, If you think sherron was a better defender than Russ Rob then I'm sorry, your just mistaken. He was in that game to score, not because of his defense.

hawksquawk 11 years, 2 months ago

icthawk, I believe you are guilty of the strawman fallacy. Your reformulation of jaybates point isn't exactly representative. What his claim really rests on is the law of large numbers, that is to say that overtime the aggregate results will approach closer to the true average. Now the problem with this is that it presupposes the existence of a "true" average. What if X is actually as good at the trey as his numbers suggest? It could be.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 2 months ago

78% from the line and 36% from three is pretty mediocre for an NBA point guard. Now, I'm not saying that Wall is at all mediocre. He is an amazing athlete and ball-handler. Probably the fastest guard I've ever seen. But the NBA can really shock some people. Look at Michael Beasley, DeJuan Wagner and Greg Oden. They were amazing college players but a deficiency in any part of you game will keep you from being a star. Guys like LeBron, Kobe, Wade, Paul, etc, all excel at everything. Wall needs to become a better shooter if he is going to live up to the hype at the next level. I would take X over him simply because he does everything well. He really does compare to Paul Pierce.

Jaminrawk 11 years, 2 months ago

In addition, his 55% from the field is heavily relying on shots he makes when he takes it to the rim.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

smasherps - you're right...i screwed up the point I was making. I meant to say that Russ Rob was a better defender, but with the game on the line HCBS turned to Sherron, and the point I was making to Jaybate is that while Brady may be the better defender, when "the chips are down" coach will turn to X. Thanks for pointing that out. Doh!

justanotherfan 11 years, 2 months ago


If the age limit rule didn't exist in the NBA be assured John Wall would not be at Kentucky. NBA scouts agree he would have been drafted second after Blake Griffin. But then, Xavier Henry probably wouldn't be at KU, either.

Making all things equal, the fact that Wall is a PG and X is a wing player means Wall is probably more valuable at the next level.

To take it a step further, if Wall is Derrick Rose, then unless X is Kevin Durant, Wall is the better option.

As to Jaminrawk's points:

1) 78% from the FT is pretty good. Not great, but for a PG that can consistently get into the lane (and as a result, get more FT's), around 80% is pretty solid. It could be better, though, I won't deny that.

2) 36% from 3 isn't burning it up, but it's not abysmal either. Also, please note that for a guy like John Wall, who has elite ability to get to the rim, being a passable jumpshooter is more than adequate because it's a secondary weapon. No team is drafting John Wall to stand outside and shoot threes. They are drafting him to get to the rim. The fact that he shoots adequately from three is a bonus that will keep defenses from sagging off him like they do against Rajon Rondo. This is an area he could improve, but his slashing is so good, his jumper exists only to keep people honest, not as a primary weapon.

3) The fact that, as a guard, he is so good going to the rim that he shoots 54% is incredible. Most guards get a few shots blocked or altered if they drive a lot. Wall doesn't get many shots blocked or altered because he is so quick to the rim and he elevates so well. Most coaches would kill for a PG that only missed jumpers and could get to the rim more or less whenever they wanted.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

hawksquawk - Semantics. I think either "law" of statistics Jaybate was using was flawed. Jaybate's point was something we hear often in sports, that "he's due". Whether that be a guy is "due" for a good performance or a bad one, being "due" is can be used in the laws of probability or large numbers. He states that he is shooting "53% from the central business district for the season". The law of probability is that the more possibilities and options you include, the lower the chances will be for a particular outcome to happen. So applying the law of probability to this, I took Jaybate's arguement to be that the more games (possibilities), the lower the chance will be for him to continue to shoot at such a high percentage (the particular outcome). Certainly the law of large numbers argument is applicable (and in fact included an example of coin flips when I looked it up, so kudos to you). At any rate, the law of independent chance (or events) seems more applicable. Simply saying, it's kinda ridiculous to say "well he's shot so good for so long, surely the opposite will happen now (or soon). It's reverse logic, using evidence to make an argument to the contrary.

nocutesynickname 11 years, 2 months ago

UK fan here. Good to see a board with a paucity of haters and lowrent name calling, icehawkfan notwithstanding (Calisleazy... really? Doesn't seem to flow. Let's try for something a little more rhythmic; Cheaterpari is one I've seen a lot of recently). I agree with those that say that Wall's position as a PG keeps him from seeing the same scoring opportunities as your boy Henry.

To jaminrawk: Regarding your statement on Wall's shooting skills, I feel I must respond with a qualified HUH? 54 percent shooting and 18 points a game, where is his deficiency? Also, if I may remind you of one Rajon Rondo, who couldn't throw it in the crowd while he was at UK, but has gone on to some success in the NBA.

Having a little difficulty making sense of how Cal's saying his team is not as good as our record says is a "schtick". The Cats were overhyped early, but had enough natural talent to pull out some wins. Now that they are actually learning Cal's system. they are going to be a dangerous team, as proven by consecutive wins over ranked teams, something I've yet to see from Kansas this year.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

Off subject, but jaybate's suggestion about putting CJ on Manny Harris made me think of it........How tall is CJ.....really? I mean......really? They list him at 6'4 but he looks closer to 6'2 to me.

Joel Hood 11 years, 2 months ago


Here is your vocabulary lesson for today: Vacuous - - asinine: devoid of intelligence - empty: devoid of significance or point; "empty promises"; "a hollow victory"; "vacuous comments" - devoid of matter; "a vacuous space" - blank: void of expression; "a blank stare" - your post on our board - Calipari's record in the Final Four

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

Come on guys. Let's play nice. After all, UK is KU's little brother in the family of college basketball. Calipari may not live up to the level of esteem we give Coach Self, but he did coach here, once. The longer they play the college game, the more they owe to KU. First Calipari. Notice, they never have reciprocated.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

nocute - I didn't make it up (Calisleazy), but it get's used a lot on these message boards. Not sure who gets the initial credit for that, but we've been calling him that since his days of cheating Memphis into the championship game.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

I don't have a problem with other fans commenting. It's interesting why they would even want to comment. I have enough self-control to mind my business on other boards: UNC, UK, UCLA, OU, KSU and some others. I don't make any comments unless they are completely tasteful and positive. Also, honesty is important to practice. But I really don't unless it's during the ncaa tourney.

Enough about crazy kats, wall and Sleazy!!

What are your takes on the Michigan game. I read someone thinks Michigan just may give X a D challenge? Interesting comment.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

lighthawk (anonymous) says... do you love it:

Lighthawk- Tried to access site, but nothing was there except some utube options. Am I missing something?

Brak 11 years, 2 months ago

I am not going get into the who is better argument, because since they play different positions and different roles on different types of teams its hard to compare. Bottom line is that so far X and Wall have lived up to the hype and will end up being top draft picks. I did however come across something very humurous, according position power rankings they have John Wall as the #1 PG in college basketball ahead of #2 Sherron Collins and pretty much already crowning him the "College Basketball Player of the Year", oh yea and then they have X listed as the #22 SG, I guess they don't consider him a SF?

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

Yeah...Brak...they're both good and will both be drafted.

Smasher88 11 years, 2 months ago

nocute, come on buddy. After the way Cal threw his kids under the bus when they lost in 08', how can you defend him. I'd would be ashamed if he was our coach. Hittin the road when investigations are coming down. What a class-act. I really think he's capable of damaging kentuckys program beyond repair. thats sad. If you have a coach like that, it doesn't really matter who you play, you'll lose in the end.(ex. 2008:)

icthawkfan- It's all good buddy. I think your right though. you can't have those kind of offensive capabilities and not be the one coach is gonna go with.

caddie733 11 years, 2 months ago

I think X has been great thus far, however, I must say Wall has been the more impressive of the two. The only knock on him is his turnovers. However, he plays the point and will have more turnovers than X, just from the nature of the position. Wall is not just a "me" player, as some have speculated, he averages 7.1 assists a game. Even with his numerous turnovers, his assist to turnover ratio is 1.64 (better than Collins the last 2 years). So, as of now there is a little too much emphasis on the turnovers.

Listen, it's hard to not just say X is better since he is a Jayhawk, but anyone who has seen Wall play has to be impressed, especially given the competition he has played against. We need to see what X will do against great competition. He also has the added benefit of playing alongside Collins and Aldrich, which makes X's job considerably easier than playing pg for a young, inexperienced team.

I don't really care who is better, but being objective, Wall is. However, as long as KU is better than UK, it doesn't matter. Let Wall get all the attention, it will just fuel X's fire more and give him added motivation to get better.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

truehawk......IIt was I who commented at the beginning of this thread that Manny Harris from Michigan could give X a run for his money when X is on defense. I think it will be a good test for X. We need to see where he stands against top tier wing guards/forwards. X has the advantage when it comes to bulk, but Manny is a quality slasher. He's also a very good rebounder....around 8rpg. Excellent test for X.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

caddie.....Spot on, baby. As X said, there are more important things (NC's) than being Freshman of the Year.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

I am soooooo glad Self is our coach. I defended the man when others hated on him (football coach Gill come to mind?) because his offense wasn't nice and cute and purdy like good ol' Roy's offense.

DEFENSE wins championships people! Calipari coaches up some damn good D, too. He might be on the fringe of NCAA investigations, but the man can 'cruit and teach D. He will always be in the hunt until somebody bans him for life.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

Yep...they need someone to put some heat on them for some fire tests.

I'm afraid every team we play will be "cream puffs." They are so balanced and they make each win seem effortless. We'll get through our season and people will say the B12 was a cream puff.

I remember when the 2008 squad played Davidson and many even called them cream puff. I just think it's funny that each game we play is either: beat them by 25-30 and they are cream puffs or they give KU a good run like Memphis and we're automatically overrated!! It's really funny. I thought the Memphis game was a great game to show how competitive all teams will be this year.

I want to see them gain some mental toughness and find some xtra effort in their games!! (Does anyone know what other Kansas team used that phrase?)

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

true - anyone who claims the Big 12 is full of cream puffs is ignorant. Outside of the Big East (that boasts 16 teams!) no other league has more quality teams. KU, Texas, K-state, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State. And Oklahoma & Missouri will surely get their acts together and be formidable by the conference season. Throw Baylor in the mix (who gets votes in both polls), and there are only 3 sub-par teams out of 12. But I'm sure you're right, some of the nay-sayers will still be whining about our non-conference schedule.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago're just now reading my comments. I wondered when you'd

I'm glad to read your true colors!

No problems. I hear you loud and clear. I want some stiff competition and we'll get better over the next few games. HCBS will have us B12 Conference ready and the B12 Conference will get us ready for the tourney!!!!

One game at a time.


jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


Well, at least we agree that this is one of the older and more persistent misunderstandings that continues to trip persons up. :-)

First, I am not going to claim to be a statistical authority. I have used statistics a good deal. I had a number of courses in stats in undergrad and graduate school. I discussed statistics at length with a number of statisticians and hard scientists. And I know that some would happily agree with your argument.

But I have found other hard scientists and statisticians that find the point of view I am about to proffer credible, or at least having some merit.

There are a number of ways of considering the issue you raise about independence and probability of coin tosses and the problematic analogizing of coin tossing and shooting a ball.

I will mention a few and see if doing so helps, or further clouds things for you.

To start with, comparing shooting a ball with flipping a coin, at all, is a peculiar thing to do; all statistics aside. Flipping a coin and shooting a ball in a D1 game just overtly have very little in common, if one thinks carefully about both.

Nevertheless, your analogy, such as it is, goes: there are two sides to a coin and a shot is either made or missed, so there must be some analogy of independence and probability between coin tossing and trey shooting. But this overlooks the significance of randomization in coin tossing completely.

And I am not even going to get into the question of whether or not the independence assumption that apparently holds in coin tossing is valid in shooting a basketball; that would be just too arcane...even for me.

So: let us focus on randomization and why folks holding your view rarely discuss it. It wrecks their analogy; that's why they don't discuss it. :-)

First, shooting a basketball is hardly a randomized event.

If each shot were both an independent event and a fully randomized event with a one out of two probability, every person that shot a ball, regardless of location on the court, for a season would average making 50 percent with some measurable variance around that average over the course of every season.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

But, of course, that is not how shooting plays out, is it. Some persons are better shooters and shoot higher averages over a season. Other persons are worse shooters and shoot lower averages over a season. Some shooters improve their avergages over time, but few improve drastically. Most reach a ceiling, or improve only slightly, or kind of bounce around year to year in small increments.

Compare this with coin tossers. How many coin tossers have you met who had the skill to make a coin drop from two feet above a tile floor and consistently make it come up heads over several thousand tries consistently at 60 percent the way some post men can score in the paint, or at 40 percent, the way some trey shooters can do from beyond the stripe? I've just never met anyone who can make that two foot drop with sufficient skill to bias the outcomes. Nor have I ever witnessed a lock down defender allowed to interfere with a randomized coin dropping exercise. Maybe you have, but I haven't.

Shooting skill and shooting skill of teammates, passing skill, opposing defenses, confidence, fatigue, match-up advantages, etc. bias each independent shooting event and its outcome. Also, injuries, sickness, study stress, and break ups with girl friends, etc., probably bias average shooting events and outcomes for anywhere from one game, to a run of games, to a season of games.

Frankly, when you stop and think about it, using randomized coin tossing as an explanatory probability model for shooting treys, or forecasting same, is pretty ridiculous both on its face, and in terms of the violation of assumptions that happens.

But the above only explains why you are wrong. It does not vindicate me.

Here again, there are many ways to approach this issue.

Let me try just one.

We know that very few players can average over 45% from treyville for a season, and that just a handful average 50% or better and that no one that I recall has ever averaged anywhere near 80% for a season, or even for more than a game or two, shooting 7-8 treys a game.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

As we already learned, a season of trey shooting by a player tends not to be an infinite number of random coin tosses with a probability of 1 out of 2.

A season of trey shooting is a series of biased events with runs above and below the historical average that occur because of constellations of biases.

Runs testing statistical analysis, though I have not actually done it, would probably confirm that different players are prone to different runs (streaks) of shooting above and below their historical averages and above and below what will be their eventual current season average.

To reiterate, most top trey shooters shoot between 40-45 percent for a season. Let's use 40% for an example.

We know that the more games and shots that go by in which a players' shooting average to date is, say, Xavier's 53%, that player tends to have a roughly equal number of games/shooting events occur in the remainder of the season's games/shooting events, wherein the player shoots at a percentage equally below, say, an average of 40% in order for his historical average of 40 percent to be approached.

This phenomenon happens in runs of games and over seasons year after year after year, so it is kind of silly to wave concepts like independence and probability and randomized coin tossing (while overlooking that shooting is not a randomized event) and then claim that there is no increased tendency of X to shoot a lower percentage after shooting 80 percent from trey, than had he shot 1 percent from trey. Both 80% and 1% trey shooting exist out on the ends of the tails of Xavier Henry's distribution of trey shooting percentages. 80 and 1 percent trey shooting occur so infrequently that, when Xavier puts up 7-8 treys, it is a completely logical assertion to say that he is highly probable to shoot worse than 80% from trey, probably much worse than 80 percent the next game, if only because Xavier's historical shooting distribution in games where he shoots 7 or 8 treys tends to be much more frequently clustered between 35 and 50 percent, rather than above 80 percent, or below 1 percent. If you shoot 1 percent against LaSalle, there is a very high probability that you will shoot a much higher percentage the next game because your shooting distribution, which, while perhaps not normal, it is certainly fatter near the mean, than out at the tails.

But we can look at this still another way.

The season average is a product of skills and circumstances yielding shooting outcomes. The runs above and below the season average are shooting streaks--bad or good. The runs, or streaks, have to do with constellations of factors temporarily biasing runs above, or below the average.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

The runs, or streaks, may vary, but the runs, or streaks, are measurable. The farther into one you go, the nearer you are to coming out of it. That much we can all agree on, right?

Well, I would be happy, therefore to amend my language for you as follows: Xavier is nearer to ending a run of 6 or so game run of 50% plus trey shooting, where he will begin shooting about as far under his average as he has shot above his average the first six or so games. And I will stipulate that the equivalent below average run could occur the last seven games of the season, or at any other time of the remaining season, but it has to occur. But the longer the streak goes, the more likely it is to end, regardless of independence, simply because players rarely have shooting streaks, or runs (from biases), that last longer than six or so games, based on my anecdotal observation, or based on what ever duration sound QA would define as the average run observed in player data.

And we can continue further down this path.

When one shoots 80% from treyland for a game, that practically constitutes the end of an 80% run for I suspect there are very few historically observed cases of players shooting 80% from treyland for a run, or streak, of more than one or two games, when that player takes the number of trey attempts per game that Xavier tends to take.

Based on historical runs in three point shooting, it is then highly likely that X is at the end of his run of 80% three point shooting and ready to start a run of lower shooting percentages, and based on anecdotal observation, at a much lower percentage than 80%.

Disagree with me if you will, using oversimplifications and inappropriate assumptions of randomization, where none exists, but I just would not bet on Xavier shooting 80% from three point land against Michigan given seven, or eight attempts, since he just did so against LaSalle. His shooting distribution is much skinnier out at the tail of 80 percent, than it is nearer the center of his distribution. Put another way, 80 percent is way out in the tail of his shooting distribution for a game and for a season, and it is there fore highly improbable that he will shoot the 80 percent the next game.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

I would also not bet that Xavier averages 53% trey shooting for the next seven games, even though that is far closer to the fat of his shooting distribution than 80%. I would not because he has already had his 53% run of games and so he is likely to occupy some other percentage of his shooting distribution. I would be lower simply because his shooting distribution is much more frequently around amounts less than 53 percent and above 40 percent given his historical average (whatever that may exactly be).

To conclude, independence of events is no excuse for overlooking shooting distributions of individual players, when evaluating how a player is apt to perform the next game.

Nor is it cricket to ignore the absense of randomization in shooting the trey and the fact that the mean of shooter's distributions is not consistently one out of two, as is the case with coin tosses. .

But I am always open to further education and understanding about statistics and probabilities and how their assumptions are met or violated in real world applications.

As I said near the outset, I am hardly an expert on this question. But I also think there is a high probability that you are just plain wrong on this issue.

Perhaps someone can clear this up once and for all.

nocutesynickname 11 years, 2 months ago


Thanks, but I already knew the meaning to those words, let me throw one your way.

Kansas' basketball team Your opinion

KU: Thanks for your "support" but little brother is all grown up, thank you, if you don't believe me look at number of wins, win pct. NCAA championships, etc., etc.

Smasher: not really defending anyone in my post, merely lamenting the lack of class on the part of posters who have to resort to namecalling. Shame your coach doesn't have a name that is easily twisted into something unsavory...hmm, Bill Self-absorbed? Bill Self-pleasurer? I'll work on it and get back to you.
BTW you'd better thank your lucky stars that Cal took UK's offer, otherwise you'd have faced Wall, Henry, and Cousins a few weeks ago, and gotten your clock cleaned by 16, easy. I also don't consider Cal to have bailed on his kids to take the best college coaching job in the country, coaching the all time winningest basketball program. Any coach with a brain would have leapt at that chance.

Icehawk (or is it icthawk?): I have nothing to say about the strength of your conference schedule, only saying that you haven't played any of these teams yet. UK has, on the other hand, already played and defeated two top 20 teams. We also get to play Tennessee twice, Florida twice, and Mississippi, not to mention strong teams at S.Carolina and Vandy. When you have played and defeated a ranked team, then perhaps you will deserve all the hype. Til then, I'll reserve my judgment.

David Leathers 11 years, 2 months ago

"Eat his words and call the number of the sleepy-eyed guy at the end of the bench, who did the Turnpike Dipsy Doodle with a little too much barley in his blood awhile back."

Jaybate, you are the shiznit!

hawkward1 11 years, 2 months ago

nocutesynickname: There are 5 big 12 teams in front of UK. This is a predictive ranking system based on performance outcomes. UK ranks 41; KU ranks 2. I suppose your comeback is that there's lies, there's damn lies and then there's statistics?

Ron Franklin 11 years, 2 months ago

Here's a neat vocab word for the day:

Cheater 1. To deceive by trickery; swindle 2. John "the sleezemaster- the only head coach to have a Final Four appearance vacated by the NCAA at more than one school-Calipari

But I guess those are good qualities to aspire to!

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

Lebowski: very well said.

Jaybate, could you put in bold the important stuff you say so after my bottle of red I can get the points you want us to have and skip the phlupgh.

Wall is #1 draft choice even by guard heavy team, he is that good. X will be 6th (estimate yes it's early) chosen and go there with NCAA banner to his belt, given the 'team' concept. Cal will be as tough a game as we could even imagine, in some ways can't wait to face them in some ways, just fine if Butler knocks them off in 1st round in Tupelo.

does Cole have persistent cough or some bug....anyone know.

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

SAT tests taken: call 1-800 Coach -Cal.

after Umass, Memphis, Kent. all in NCAA trouble what more does NCAA want to ban a guy ...from Div. 1 ball.

He could run SMU football program...

kranny 11 years, 2 months ago

The difference is that X is a two and Wall is a point guard. Wall is a better point guard and X is a better two. A good question would be if Wall was with the Jayhawks would he played at the point off the bench behind Collins? Would he start at the point in front of Taylor and Collins at the 2? Or would he play the two. Because of his athleticism, I might be able to see him at the 2 but he needs the ball in his hands to create and I think a good defender would lock him down if he was a two. At the point, he can wear a defender down which means a lesser sub would have to come in to defend him and that would be one less scorer for the other team. Wall would've been a great get for the Hawks and it would've been interesting to see how he would've panned out, but I don't think he would've fit in for some reason. X is the right guy at the right time for this team.

jhawk4 11 years, 2 months ago


It's not KU's fault the non-con schedule didnt pan out like we expected. Cal and Michigan were both top 20 teams pre season, im sorry they have lost early to make our SOS weaker. in the mean time i guess we will just keep blowing everyone out.

This UK team reminds me of the 06 KU team. When playing well we could have beaten anyone, but inconsistency killed us, and we lost in the first round to Bradley.The difference is Wall, 06 KU didnt have him, UK does. Wall has already saved you from at least 3 losses. I dont expect UK to lose in the first round in march because of Wall, but a Final Four might be wishful thinking at this point. not ruling it out, but let me tell you first hand, dont get too overconfident with a super young team. i did and then Bradley came up and bit us.

hawksquawk 11 years, 2 months ago

The only thing more inflated than X's three point percantage is Jaybate's ego.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

nocutesynickname (anonymous) says... When you have played and defeated a ranked team, then perhaps you will deserve all the hype. Til then, I'll reserve my judgment.

Fans like nocutes just refuses to respond to the rankings issue. We understand and most of the bball community or fan base understands why we're #1. Let's forget Wall and X for now. Time will settle that little game.

nocutes: 1. We were in the Sweet 16 last year with most Sophs, Freshmen and one Junior. -uk went to the NIT and lost in the first round- This is KU's fault too, huh? 2. We have two returning starters with an enormous amount of experience in Cole and SC! -uk brings in mostly freshmen and one Junior in Patterson, too bad Meeks left and of course that's KU's fault because Meeks left, huh? 3. We return all our freshmen that played in the Sweet 16 game and they are better and stronger...look at the numbers (everybody likes to play with numbers!) -uk has nothing but a lot of raw talent that needs developed over 1-2 years. -Sleazy didn't make your non-con schedule, Gillespie provided that little present along with Orton, but that's due to KU's horrible situation, huh? 4. Lastly, our big men are much better with our big men's coach in Danny Manning. Who does Cousins and Orton have? Sleazy! We've already stated you have no big man coach to develop your bigs. The 4 and 5 are extremely important to complete your 1-3 spots. KU has Aldrich, Withey and the Twins (again look at their numbers!) -uk has Wall, maybe have Cousins and barely are wasting your big men and Sleazy will not win NCs with guard play. Orton has foul trouble and Cousins is not making the impact he should or will because he has no development and training. Look at the 2008 Memphis team- He tried and lost without little to no big men support. 5. You're never going to win a NC with Sleazy's current coaching mentality. You can't develop a bunch of freshmen to win a NC. I know you want to reference the Fab 5 at Michigan. They were a rare group and you don't have 5 let alone 3 or 4. You have Wall and maybe Cousins (Freshmen).

nocutes- Look at our 2008 team and talent. How long did it take for them to win the 2008 NC? 2-3 years? We were fortunate to have B Rush stay. We were loaded like this year. We are not the same team, but we are following the same pattern just in a different way. Sleazy needs to start getting players that will commit at least to 2 years before uk is going to have a chance to build. We were extremely fortunate to have SC and Cole come back their Junior and Senior years respectively. These are the stats that you uk fans fail to look at because you're caught up in your hype! KU has no hype, we have pure facts and reality to support our chances.

Which team wants a NC more?

Brett Glover 11 years, 2 months ago

I don't know if I'm more excited for coach Gill or Brady coming back and Withey being able to play. WOOOO for Brady!

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

I'm excited about Gill, but even more when football season rolls around.

Right now it's hardwood time and I'm thrilled with Withey playing Sat against Michigan.

I just hope he's cleared by the trainers and his knee is 100%. It's not an absolute necessity to have him back against Michigan, nice but not necessary!

BM should make an immediate impact. This even after his debacle off the court. It sounds like HCBS has kept in in motion during practice. He should be ready.

Time to go to work Withey!!


Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate - first of all, props on your whole "I am not going to claim to be a statistical authority. I have used statistics a good deal. I had a number of courses in stats in undergrad and graduate school. I discussed statistics at length with a number of statisticians and hard scientists" intro. Way to lend credibility to yourself all while trying to pose as modest, I'm sure your followers are impressed. Now, if I am correct to assume that one of the points of your rebuttal was that my analogy of a coin flip to shooting percentage is off-base because there are only two outcomes to flipping a coin and that many variables go into whether a shot is made or missed...then you are right. Surely you did not think that I was saying every player has a 50/50 chance of making each shot because there are only two possible outcomes. If you did then you had missed the point of the analogy. The coin flip example was not used to be an apples to apples comparison. It was used to show that each occurance is independent of the one before it. I could have used a roll of dice, saying that yes if you start out and say I'm going to roll a 6 ten straight times the odds are astronomical, yet if I tell you that I've rolled a 6 nine straight times already, the odds of me rolling a tenth straight 6 are not that astronomical, they are 1 in 6. Basically the point is that on a game to game basis (or flip to flip, roll to roll) the occurances are not bound by the laws of averages or large numbers in such a small sample (game to game).

Now obviously there are factors that go into shooting which are not relevant to a coin flip or roll of the dice. Defense, confidence, whether you had a bad day in practice and coach made you run in which case you do not have your legs under you. If you want to examine some of those variables we can. As to defense and lock-down defenders, I have no idea what the defensive strategies and various defenders assigned to guard X this year have been. We can assume that coachs have scouting reports saying he is an effective 3-pt shooter, even before his first game that was his MO, and that coaches were planning accordingly. Now maybe Michigan has some guy that's a better defender than X has seen. That being said, as a direct quote from HCBS, "he’s maybe taken five or seven (bad) shots all season", so it's a safe bet that he's not going to suddenly force a plethora of bad shots in one game most likely resulting in a lower shooting percentage. As for confidence, I don't think that will have an adverse effect on his shooting, do you? And as for my example of not having his legs under him during the game, I have no idea how coach is going to practice them before the Michigan game. We'll see I guess.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Back to my initial point, which was each game is an event independent to the one before it. And again, to put it in the terms as I understood them, based on his shooting so far this season (53%…not using the 80% that you kept throwing out, I assume for the sake of making my argument look ridiculous), you are saying that he is “due” to have a bad shooting night because he simply cannot sustain that high level of shooting over the course of a season. I would agree that he cannot sustain it, but this is looking at the season as a whole, it is in no way a viable way to predict what happens game to game, especially the next game. Just to illustrate, coming into the La Salle game X was shooting 50%, 20 of 40, from beyond the arc. So according to your argument that “most top trey shooters shoot between 40-45 percent for a season. Let's use 40% for an example” wouldn’t he have been “due” to have a bad shooting game against La Salle? I’m just saying, expected season averages can be used to make the argument that at some point X will shoot at a clip below his current 53.3% and this should bring his shooting percentage down to a more expected level, but they cannot be used to predict what will happen in the next game. Here’s a basketball analogy. Say TT is in a shooting slump. He’s 0-5 on the day, and X is 4-5 on the day. If we’re down we’re down 3 and have one last shot, would coach say to his team “X cannot sustain his hot shooting, and TT is due to have one go in, so let’s get the ball to TT and let him shoot the rock”. Of course not. You can’t apply these statistics and probability laws on a small scale. I’m in agreement that X’s shooting will probably dip down into the 40-45% range at some point, but using the laws of averages, probability, or large number is not a good predictor of when this will happen.

justanotherfan 11 years, 2 months ago

I think the one thing you have forgotten to account for in your shooting analysis is the quality of shots.

Hypothetically, let's say X can hit 8 out of every 10 threes he takes when he's just shooting around, no game pressure, no defense, just him and a rebounder. On the other hand, Tyshawn hits 6 of every 10 he takes under the same circumstances, Sherron, Brady and Tyrel hit 7 of 10, and Conner hits 9 of 10. Obviously, this would lead you to believe that Conner would be the go to guy because he's the best "shooter."

However, in a game situation, you aren't promised the best possible look. Under heavy defensive pressure Sherron hits (hypothetically still) 3 of 10, X, Brady, Tyrel and Tyshawn hit 2 of 10, and Conner hits 1 of 10. So now who is your best shooter? Conner, Sherron and X all would hit 10 of 20. Brady and Tyrel would hit 9 of 20. Tyshawn hits 8 of 20. But does that make them 50%, 45% and 40% shooters? Of course not, because you're talking about two completely different circumstances. However, if you can get more of the first than the second type, your percentage will go up naturally.

I think that's what has contributed to X's percentage so far.

Look no further than Sherron Collins' career for evidence. As a freshman, with very little pressure on many of his shots, SC shot .405 from three. As a soph, he dipped to .362 during a year that saw him banged up. As a junior last year, taking more pressured shots, he shot .376. This year he's on a career high clip of .432 getting more open looks. If he continues to get mostly open looks, I say that number stays over 40%, maybe even climbs over 45%. If he has to take more shots under pressure, he could dip into the high 30s.

Quality of looks is the underplayed theme of shooting percentages.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


First, this is progress of a sort.

It is a very long winded admission that your coin flip analogy with trey shooting fits poorly; that comparing randomized coin tossing to nonrandomized trey shooting is about as dubious in stochastic terms, as comparing a Jonathan apple with a MacIntosh computer. :-)

Alas, it also does not prove I am wrong, nor disprove I am right.

What you appear to struggle with is the idea of a shooting distribution; that a person tends to have more games where he shoots, say, between 30-50 percent, than he has shooting 80 percent or higher. It has to do with tendencies in psychology, abilities, practice, offenses and defenses. It is not random. A persons shooting distribution may not be a perfectly bell shaped curve, but I believe research would confirm my anecdotal expectation that Xavier tends to have more games in the 30-50% range than in the 80% to 100% range, when he shoots 5-8 shots. I can't tell you exactly why this occurs, except that pschology, abilities, practice, offences and defenses trigger an equilibrium tendancy that plays out within this range. Again, we are talking about a highly biased activity in shooting a basketball, not a highly randomized coin toss.

A season shooting average combined with shooting distribution data (or at least anecdotal experience of such until systematically collected data can is gathered) can effectively be used to predict the next game, especially after right or left tail performances, though not with certainty. Certainty and forecasting go hand in glove only in strict deterministic assumptions about phenomena. I infer you are not a strict determinist about three point shooting.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

X shot around 80 percent from trey vs. LaSalle. It is possible he will do the same against Michigan, but not probable. Why? Because X (and every other three point shooter for that matter) has a career shooting average over his life time of, say, 40-45%. Maybe even 50% in a few cases. Further, X (ditto) has a career shooting average distribution in games. X, though I have not documented it, probably tends to has a lot more games in the 35-50 percent range than he has in the 80% range, or the 10 percent range. Similarly, though I have not documented it (assumption), he also probably tends to have runs of 80% plus shooting that are much shorter than his runs of 35-50% shooting. Hence, it is very probable that he will shoot less than 80% vs. Michigan, after having just done so against LaSalle, and it is highly improbable that he will shoot 80% or higher vs. Michigan, having just done so against LaSalle. 80% runs tend to be short. 35-50 percent runs tend to be much longer. The likelihood that he is early in an anomalously long 80% run is much, much less, than that he is about to start a 35-50 percent run.

To reiterate, we are not discussing a randomized activity, like coin tossing, or a random number generator in a computer, where even the runs that occur are randomized. We are discussing shooting a basketball, which is almost the opposite of a randomized activity. And we are not descending into the abyss to rigorously and critically analyse independence assumptions, which are a female dog in the age of quantum theory.

Clearly, it is very difficult for you to let go of--even for a brief consideration of another POV--the thinking that comes bundled with the model that you have been taught; this is always the danger of learning a model--especially an inappropriate one. Models channel and constrain how we think. When they fit the facts and are applied to the realm of reality where their assumptions hold, they can help us think more powerfully and incitefully about phenomena--at least over the narrow realm that the model holds (i.e., over the usually narrow part of reality that its assumptions are unviolated). Inappropriate models, or models applied to parts of reality where their modeling assumptions do not hold, are often worse than none. You seem caught in that trap.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

To you, I seem caught in the trap of not recognizing the primacy of independence of events. I used to think the way you do, because I was taught the same trick. But I have fought through it looking for a deeper, more fitting understanding of events--real and stochastic.

So: we disagree, authentically, on my part--without any subterfuge, or cheap cleverness of rhetoric playing to the peanut galleries. Probably no one cares about this discussion but the two of us.

I am not saying I am almost certainly right on this issue. I am working on a solution in front of you to sensitize you to what rational thinking about this subject looks like, whether I prove wrong, or right. And I am challenging you to do the same. And I am saying you are almost certainly wrong. There is a difference, you see?

A really good statistician, that is, one not entrapped by certain traditional statistical modeling thinking (like yours), may have the skill, intellectual horsepower and clarity of thought and expression necessary to unsnag this. He might even unsnag it in your favor, though I doubt it. I may not be able to unsnag it, or make it sufficiently clear even if I were to unsnag it, because I am only so-so at statistics, even with my experience. A flaw maybe exposed in my thinking, though I do not see that you have exposed it yet. But your approach appears invalid on its face for reasons previously noted and now recognized by you. There is a difference, you see?

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Again, we are not talking about predicting with certainty what Xavier will shoot against Michigan. We are talking about what will probably happen, given life time shooting averages, lifetime shooting distributions, and tendancies in runs under biased circumstances. When one seeks certainty in prediction, one is beyond the realm of much QA and beyond much of reality...sometimes into determinstic logic, but at other times into fantasy. When one imposes randomness as an assumption, when there is little or none of it apparent in the realm of reality under consideration, it is a kind of flummery. There is a difference, you see?

That seems enough for you today. Certainly it is for me.

We will work on the rest another time. :-)

Second, I told the truth about my background in statistics in good faith. Whether it is superior to yours, or inferior, it hardly makes me an authority. It is odd for you to become paranoid about my rhetorical intentions in doing so. Again, I am appealing to no peanut gallery here. I am posting to you, as the salutation makes clear. Perhaps you should explore this in your therapy, if you are trusting enough to get into therapy yet. :-)

Third, I have no cult of followers here that I can see and don't want any. I like thinkers. Clear thinkers that I can learn from and get better working out with are preferable. I am a little d democrat. I like a lot of opinions. I like opinions colliding and, when possible, coalescing into informed consensus (a rarity it seems). I don't like propaganda and manufactured conscent, because the order they deliver tends to obscure the really important avenues of progress that can be made toward greater enlightenment and net benefit to the most persons in any circumstance, or so my experience has taught me.

Further, I am a board rat--a poster--a citizen journalist--a KU fan--a proponent of interactive journalism--an advocate of a well-informed public opinion. While you are hallucinating about sinister rhetorical intentions on my part, I see board rats from all kinds of backgrounds here that I work out with in this sports logonasium called Some are better than me at this. Some are not as good--you for instance (though you might be were you to master your paranoid tendancies). :-)

At any rate, I make many mistakes, as each board rat here--whether they are fond of me or not--would surely agree. I can't think of a single board rat that hasn't pointed one out, at one time, or another, or expressed disagreement with me on one subject, or another. Frankly, many of the folks that claim to like my stuff write better stuff than I do. They just may not be as prolific, or as interested in experimenting with the form as I often am. I read here to learn just as surely as I write here to learn. And to partake in the living myth of KU basketball.

Fourth, Rock Chalk!

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate - first of all, the next time I see you admit that you were wrong, or even that it's possible, it will be the first. So you can save all of your "it's difficult to let go/you're constrained in how you think/you seem caught in a trap" condescending garbage. If anything, you are the one who has fallen into the flaw in logic, that of players being "due", and simply cannot abandon this over-used sports cliche. No one is here is arguing that it is probable that he will go out and shoot 80% against Michigan. Let me reiterate so that you understand. NO ONE (least of all me) is suggesting X will shoot 80% against Michigan. You're initial point was that due to his shooting 53% on the year he is due for a poor shooting game, and that you are expecting it against Michigan. Now certainly simply shooting less than 80% is not a poor shooting game until you dip down to sub-40%, so I don't want to see you on the message boards if X shoots say...50%, even 40% saying "SEE! I told you!" You're expectation that "it is about time" for him to have a poor shooting game is what I am debating. You did this in a debate about the Morris twins and kept bringing up their rebounding last year, despite constant reminders that I was talking about this year, so it's important that you stay with me on this. We are not talking the likelihood that X goes out and has another 80% shooting effort from trey.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Now, as to your claim that I made a long-winded (an ironic and hilarious choice of words coming from you!) admission that my model fit poorly. It fit poorly with how you understood it. You looked at it as an event that had only two possible outcomes and was not influenced by outside variables. In this respect, you are correct and would be a poor analogy to shooting a basketball. Of course you missed the point entirely, whether it flew over your head or you simply dismissed it because it didn't fit into you reality and arguments. Any of your statitics professors you claim to have taken classes from, any statitician or mathematician will tell you that you cannot base the next event (in this case shooting performance) simply based on the previous event, or even series of events. That is what the coin flip analogy tells us, that when looking at a large sample you can make predictions of probability and likelihood, but not at any specific point during that sample. You can predict that things will level out to the expected percentages over time, but not immediately. A prime example of this was the illustration I pointed out with X's shooting % going into the La Salle game. If he was shooting 50% going into the game, based on your logic you would have expected him to have a poor shooting performance that game as well. You have done nothing to support you claim that you exect a poor shooting effort from him. If, as you previously stated, good three point shooters typically shoot in the 40-45% range, and you claim that it is likely we see a run of 35-50% shooting from him. So where is evidence that he will shoot poorly? Is 35% poor? Considering the "top trey shooters" are at 40%, it is reasonable to assume 35% to be average, maybe even slightly below average, but certainly not poor. So if anything, your claim that we're likely to see a run of 35-50% shooting from X, well it's either contradicting your initial claim (many posts ago) that it's expected to see a poor shooting effort from him against Michigan, or you're trying to shift the argument all together from the lost cause of your initial statement. Don't get me wrong, I know that was not the focal point of your initial post, that you were simply inventing scenarios in your head whereas you could write some romanticized dream scenario for Brady, all without stopping to think about the logic and merits or the events that get you to that point. So since it's only make-believe and wishful thinking, maybe I was overstepping my bounds to take you to task on the finer points.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Quick clarification, the first time I hear you say you are wrong or could be mistaken regarding an argument will be the first. I did see you say you were wrong once, when you had made the claim about Withey's rebounding at Arizona. That was a matter of fact that could be easily proved or disproved. In matters of opinion I have never seen such an admission.

Also, either your naive or just pulling my leg, but in regards to you not knowing if you have a following...come on! I know probably a dozen people, some of whom scour these message boards frequently, some who visit maybe once a week, and some who haven't visited in over a year, who all know who you are. I was telling a friend about one of our online debates and before I could even tell him with whom he replied "not that Jaybate guy". True story. Your trademark lengthy and eloquently worded posts seem to make quite an impression. Also, you're the only poster I know who has had a fellow poster praise him with the phrase "you are the shiznit". This post!

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

coin flips are predictible over long run.

shooting percentages involve what factors

The confidence of the shooter, the crispness of the pass, the times it has been passed before, the distance between the shooter and the defender, (thanks for doubling Cole)

the shot selection and the score at the time. How are your legs,how hard you been working on D.

A lifetime 50% shooter in a game where all else is equal should make about half his shots, and whether he has missed the last 12 or made them. That is logical, but we know it isn't true.

How many times we hear a player after the game say I hit that 1st one and knew it would be my night. Does confidence play a factor, sure, so making your first 4 out of 5 early in game help you continue to beat the average in the 2nd half, seems to be so.

Beyond logic & statistics I'm not sure.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


As always good questions, better questions than I have answers for.

I agree this team has a very different dynamic than the '08 team. Arthur and Jackson were strong, but were 4s playing the 4 and 5. Kaun, when in, wasn't a scorer. And Cole was not a credible threat against good competition until way late. The '08 team could defend your jocks off, demolish your offense, take the ball from you like John Dillinger taking money from banks, and score in transition like nobody's business.

This year's team remains much more like last year's team than than the '08 team. It is last year's team on steroids at every position. It remains a down-the-middle team with more middle (to Cole add the bulked up Morris studs, TRob to a minor degree and hopefully Withey to a major degree), more down the (to Sherron add C.J. who's point-to-post feeding game is only starting to be felt), and with more depth at the glue-2 (though as yet felt only in cupcake games), and an absolute scoring machine on the wing (Xavier) plus depth (Brady) at the 3.

You are spot on to say this team, which has been stacked with trinitarians is less likely to have a bad shooting night. Self is sooner or later going to find someone who can pot the triceratop most every night. And the team is about to be stacked with bigs.

This team can truly is designed to man-handle opponents when it has to.

But to master the obvious here, what truly distinguishes this down the middle team, from last year's down the middle team is this: it has a wing that is a scoring machine that can take the action off the north south axis whenever it isn't working.

But Xavier adds so much more to this team than scoring, or his own impressive capabilities (and IMHO still impressive defensive deficiencies).

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Xavier being a good trey shooter make it possible for Self to put a good trey shooter on the other wing and completely stretch the defense, so that our powerful bigs are unclogged, or we dance the trey fantastic.

Xavier added to Brady mean we have no foul risk at the 3.

Xavier added to Marcus means Self can choose to go big at the 3 an entire game, if he wishes.

Xavier means Self can put Xavier at the 2, run bigs at 3, 4, and 5, clear out the side, and say, "Xavier, go get'em!"

Xavier means we have a go to that can create in a clutch situation and almost certainly draw a foul.

Self sent a message to opponents for the rest of the season that at any moment he can and will clear out and tell Xavier "to go get'em." And Xavier's 31 point performance, even though it was against a lesser team, gave credibility to the threat.

A couple games ago, Self showed some ball screen offense on Xavier's wing. It didn't work too well, but it is now something opponents have to prepare for and think anticipate the possible use of.

Self keeps adding dimensions of attack to the offense game after game. No individual piece seems that big of a deal, as he adds it, but their cummulative effect is already impressive and he is not done adding paths of attack. Opponents presently have no clue what Self will do with Withey.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Self's plan is clear and deliberate, like Eisenhower in WWII, when he held all the aces, like Grant when he finally took over the Army of the Potomac in the Civil War and held all the aces. The strategy is not to prepare for brilliant tactical lightening strokes that turn the tide. The strategy is to ride the tide that is rising in your favor, to create a juggernaut that has such overwhelming superiority that it can strike in any, or all directions at once, and then to begin applying relentless, overwhelming pressure at the weakest points until those moves converge with overwhelming strength on the remaining strength of the enemy and destroy it completely. The only time Self will back off this strategy is when the clock becomes the opponent rather than the other team.

Self is very Eisenhower in how he talks. He is very Eisenhower in how he approaches combat. He amasses overwhelming force whereever he can. He takes anything they give him, but while he is doing that he is looking to confront the enemy's strength with overwhelming strength whenever possible. Taking what is given undermines the opponents efforts to dictate momentum. Atacking the opponent's strength, whenever superior force can be applied, demoralizes opponents.

He wants by season end for opponents to have too much to prepare for the same way Nazi Germany had too many things to prepare for.

They have to prepare for an onslaught in the paint.

They have to prepare for a three point barrage.

They have to prepare for a clear out the side and X go get'em flanking.

They have to prepare for Sherron taking over from the point.

They have to prepare for Kieff stepping out.

They have to prepare for KU going big with Sherron, X, Marcus, Kieff, and Cole.

They have to prepare for KU going bigger with Sherron, X, Marcus, Withey and Cole.

They have to prepare for hi-lo, pick and roll, ball screen and Iba weave.

They have to prepare for KU using its depth to run.

They have to prepare for KU opting to use its depth to create maximum defensive pressure for 40 minutes.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

The '08 team could do a lot of things within its scheme, because it could put a lot of highly experienced impact players on the court (Collins, Chalmers, Rush, Arthur) at the same time, probably more than this years team can put on the floor. That is the '08 team's advantage over this team. More experienced impact players in a diversified attack. It could play you any way you wanted. But it was designed to be a spread it around offensive team. It was designed to exploit match up advantages for stretches with its four impact players. It was designed to get vastly more strips than the opponent, so its impact players always had more chances to impact.

This year's team cannot put 4 seasoned offensive impact players on the court at once. I

But the '08 team never had a backup for Rush. And it never had a guy good enough to clear out the side for.

This year's team is not so much designed to spread the scoring around, as to overwhelm an opponent for extended periods from many different paths of attack.

This is the most distinguishing characteristic of this team so far.

This team does not need a huge strip advantage to pound an opponent into submission. This should be very scary to opposing coaches.


jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Because Self has made clear recently that he seeks to develop the defense so that it can produce positive strip advantage, like the '08 team did. He is saying that this years players are not good enough individually to do what the '08 team did, but he believes that frequent substitution combined with this year's defensive skills, could achieve something similar.

If Self can create the kind of edge in strips for this team that the '08 team had, and if Withey can be a plug and play big capable of playing 20 minutes against our best opponents (whether or not he does play that many minutes), and if Brady can perform at the same level he did last year, playing only 20 minutes (some at 2 and some at 3), then this could turn into the greatest team of the muscle ball era.

The keys right now are Withey and Brady. With them we have overwhelming depth. With out them, we are thin, when we go up against the best.

I am already convinced that subbing C.J. for Sherron for 5-7 minutes once in each half could blow an opponent apart much the way bringing Sherron in for RR tended to do the same for the '08 team. Why? Because C.J. completely changes the way the team can attack. C.J. can feed the post from the point, something few PGs can do. This stood out to me like a sore thumb in the LaSalle game. Bringing C.J. in is like throwing a switch on a sign that reads: Cole Go Get'em! And the beautiful part is you get to leave Xavier and Quantum T in and have Xavier (or Marcus if you put him in for Xavier) go crash the boards unmercifully.

I remain stoked about the stem-winding possibilities of this team.

But again, the difference between this team playing for a ring (the team we have now can play for a ring) and playing to be a team for the ages, is Withey and Brady. We need Withey to play very well, when he plays, for this team to truly take it all to another level.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


Your argument gets worse instead of better each time you try.

This ought to be a sign to you of some underlying problems.


jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago


FWIW, I am talking about this 80% night against LaSalle to be "probably" followed by something less against Michigan.

I win if he shoots 79%. I win if he shoots 1%. He will probably shoot toward his average.


I could choose to talk about what will happen after any other percentage he shoots another night and my logic would be the same, though my level of confidence would of course vary with his performance within the shooting distribution. I'm nothing, if not consistent on this. :-)

Here's another reason you are wrong.

Coaches bias the whole process away from the random coin toss. Coaches don't allow guys who consistently shoot 25% from trey to continue shooting treys. So even if mankind as a whole were as random in its trey shooting, as in coin tossings, well, coaches, those pesky devils, they interfere with your quasi-religion of a universally random universe and bias it. Dag nab it!

And to readdress something for the sake of clarity, I have no following. If I did, I would know it and tell you.

Have board rats heard of my alias?

Of course.

They have heard of yours, too.

The more one writes, the more others see one's alias.

Does that mean I have a following?

Of course not.

jaybate 11 years, 2 months ago

Ask 100, or Ralster, or OakvilleJHawk, or memhawk, or kushaw, or ku, or yates33333, or oldalum, or justanotherfan, or any of the other fine persons that I read here frequently that like what I write, or intensely dislike, what I write, if they think they "follow" me?

The General of an army has followers.

Bill Self has a team that follows him.

To continue to be honest, I get the impression that many, many, many more abhor me and go out of their way to not read me, than read me.

Why, not one person has written me an email and said, "hey, jaybate, I am one of your followers."

I would think if I had any followers, one of them would write and say that, wouldn't you?

I am just a board rat that loves KU basketball and likes to write and kibbitz.

Leading, or following, would be anathema to the living myth that is KU basketball as experienced on this board.

If I hope for anything beyond another ring, I hope that my willingness to explore the forms that posting can take frees up others to find more ways to express their thoughts the way they wish. I sense some persons are beginning to feel less inhibited about longer, more thoughtful exposition than they were a few years back, but I honestly cannot see that I have had any effect on that. Also, most still just like to Tweet.

If you must have an analogy (a metaphor, really) for me (and you do seem partial to analogies based on your random coin toss devotion), call me a virtual plough turning over thick digital prairie sod in an interactive meadow called If you need to personify me, imagine me with a pitch fork and a wife with a pitch fork at my side. Iook some combination of the Grant Wood character and Cary Grant. :-) Picture me American Digital Gothic.

Or better yet...

Color me Crimson and Blue!

Rock Chalk!

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate - "Also, it is about time for X to have a cold game or two from trifectaville. He shot 80 percent from downtown against LaSalle, and he's 53% from the central business district for the season."

This is a direct quote from you first post on the subject. A "cold game or two" is not simply less than 80%. Period. You can dress this argument up all you want with another 8 pages of prose and by claiming "this ought to be a sign to you of some underlying problems", but it is what it is. Again, you are guilty of shifting what you had said to mean something else. Shooting sub-80% was not what you had initially claimed, nor was it in any way included in any of my rebuttals (other than trying to point out that was not the basis of this argument, and that if you thought it was you had missed the point). As for your "I win if..." I'm sure in your mind you always win. As I said, you never admit that you are wrong in matters of opinion, you try and belittle anyone who poses opposing POVs (condescendingly pointing out that there are pesky little basketball rules that say that there can only be five guys on the court at the same time, irkishly pointing out that I gave you an assist on making your points, again with the "sign of underlying problems"). You do this when you get rattled, as was obvious when I pointed out that Withey did not grab any rebounds at Arizona. Following that, you acknowledged that with a "thanks for clearing the cobwebs" remark, followed by about 4 or 5 condescending paragraphs of you telling me why you were right and I was wrong. Brady Morningstar seems to be one of the proverbial nerves that sends you into these diatribes. Maybe that's your true identity. Maybe you're Brady's dad, vehemently defending your son as is natural for paternal instincts to kick in. IDK. At any rate, the quote from the top speaks for itself, so whatever X does against Michigan, or for the rest of the season for that matter, I'm sure you win. I'm done with you. Regardless of my point of view, I hope he goes out and shoots well every game. At the end of the day, I'm just a Jayhawk fan killing time between games. Rock Chalk Jayhawk

hawksquawk 11 years, 2 months ago

icthawk, I think you're beating a dead horse a little bit. I too have grown weary of Jaybate's act. Knowledgeable though he is, pedantry dressed up in false humility is still pedantry. Do what I do: Ignore it. There's a fine line between town crier and village idiot; people listen to the former, they ignore the latter.

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

ralster you are likely going to get your wish (ky v. kansas) in Indy, when you see tulips in your garden, turn on your set to CBS 1st monday evening in April.

as for who is right about statistics, and whether X returns to his mean, is fun to speculate views, many of us would like to read the Jaybate/icthawk posts after Michigan (when/if) X goes 9 for 10, all in good fun.

X v. Wall: granted X is evloving into one of our best ever. Wall is in another class, SAT test taker or not, he would have been drafted ahead of Durrant, Beasley, Griffin, and he has the ability to be one of NBA's super elite. He is so good if Chicago had #1 they would draft him and trade Rose. When we face them, St. Louis or Indy it will be an epic. Refer to sporting news for national opinions on Wall. they say he is best guard talent in history of college ball. something good does come out of OAD - he's gone!

We all prefer X and the HCBS 'team ball' over Calsleasy and his 'stars' yet Wall on the court is unmatched in recent times and may get Cal his 1st win on monday nights in April. hope not:

WildcatsOne 11 years, 2 months ago

I think it is kind of hard to compare Henry and Wall as Kansas has played no team beyond their homecourt cupcake invitational. So let's just put this "who's better" discussion to rest till the end of the season.

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