Thursday, November 19, 2009

KU hoping to move ball better against UCA

Kansas center Cole Aldrich and guard Tyshawn Taylor go up for a rebound against Memphis during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich and guard Tyshawn Taylor go up for a rebound against Memphis during the first half, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2009 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.


University of Central Arkansas’ basketball players and coaches boarded the bus at 8 a.m. Wednesday for a long, but relaxing, seven-hour drive from Conway, Ark., to Lawrence — site of tonight’s Kansas-UCA game.

“Playing sports trivia is about the most interesting thing happening here,” Bears’ seventh-year coach Rand Chappell said via cellphone just after the halfway point of the 425-mile journey.

Here — albeit a little late — is a trivia question that surely would have stumped Chappell’s Bears, who will meet KU in a 7 p.m., tip in Allen Fieldhouse.

Q: When’s the last time the Jayhawks — who tripped Memphis, 57-55, on Tuesday in St. Louis — scored fewer than 57 points in a victory?

A: On Feb. 20, 2000, when Roy Williams’ Jayhawks nudged Oklahoma, 53-50, in Allen Fieldhouse.

KU has scored in the 50s just 11 times in the Bill Self era — winning five times (with 57 points once and 59 points the other four times). The lowest point total in a game in the Self era is 49 points (loss vs. Arizona, 2005). KU has scored 55 four times — last encountered in a 68-55 loss to UCLA in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.

“I know Memphis was able to play better defensively than anybody so far this year,” Chappell said. “They slowed the tempo somewhat. Kansas faced some adversity with Collins having to leave the game.”

KU senior Sherron Collins missed a six-minute second-half stretch because of cramps.

“We played stupid,” Collins said. “We didn’t take care of the ball. We rushed shots, didn’t run offense, didn’t finish running plays, kept breaking down on plays.”

The Jayhawks, who hit 46.5 percent of their shots, suffered 21 turnovers to Memphis’ 13.

“We don’t understand how to score, where to score from or where our shots are coming from,” Self said. “We’ll be so much better when the ball moves.”

It moved well in KU’s two exhibition games and in the regular-season opener versus Hofstra — games in which the (2-0) Jayhawks scored 100 points.

“We’ll get better. It’s all very correctable,” Self said.

Tonight, the Jayhawks meet a Southland Conference team that defeated Hendrix, 68-40, and lost to Tennessee Tech, 71-67. Mike Pouncy, a 6-1 senior from Cedar Hill, Texas, averages a team-leading 12.0 points a game. Tadre Sheppard (6-7 junior, Lubbock, Texas) and Jared Rehmel (6-0 junior, Jasonville, Ind.) average 11.0 ppg, while Carlos Dos Santos (6-8 junior, Brazil) contributes 10.0 ppg.

“It’s a unique opportunity. Not many people get a chance to play the No. 1 team in the country. Allen Fieldhouse is something they’ll remember a long time,” Chappell said of his players.

“Not going to the NCAA Tournament ... we wanted to offer our players some of these experiences.”

The Bears, who are in the fifth and final year of a transition to NCAA Div. I, will not be eligible to compete in the postseason until 2010-11.

Chappell has competed in the fieldhouse once before.

“I was a 24-year-old coach of the Southwest Missouri State JV team. We came to Kansas in 1987 and played the JV team. R.C. Buford was the coach for KU. My joke is that we really messed up his career that night. I’m 1-0 in the building,” Chappell said.

Buford, who was an assistant coach on Larry Brown’s staff at KU, is now general manager of the San Antonio Spurs.

Pippen alma mater:

Central Arkansas is the alma mater of former Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen.

“I’ve met him a few times. To say I know him well would be an overstatement,” Chappell said. “He comes on our campus for events and has his picture taken for our media guide.”

Other famous UCA sports alums: former Kansas City Chiefs receiver Willie Davis and former Washington Redskins linebacker Monte Coleman.

Close call:

Self was asked if his squad “dodged a bullet” on Tuesday night.

“I guess it is fair to say that because they took a shot that could have won the game,” he said of Elliot Williams’ errant three before the final horn. “But dodge a bullet in November? I am not buying into that much at all. We dodged a bullet from a won/lost standpoint.

“Sometimes in basketball it looks good when the ball goes in and looks bad when it doesn’t. We didn’t play as poorly the last three minutes (as Memphis whittled down a 10-point deficit) as what it appeared because Memphis made some hard shots.”

Bobbles galore:

Soph Tyshawn Taylor had seven turnovers versus Memphis against five assists in 33 minutes.

“It’s one of those games he was a little sped up. It was a fast-paced game and they pressured a lot,” Collins said. “He was trying to make the home run plays a little bit. He’s fine.”

Cramping his style:

Collins couldn’t remember another college game in which he’d suffered cramps.

“It happened like that in high school. It was pretty weird. It hurt. I had to get through it,” he said.

A.M. arrival:

The Jayhawks, who flew charter to St. Louis, returned to Lawrence at 3 a.m. Wednesday.

Collins’ first class was at ... “9 a.m.” he said with a smile.


Robert Brock 10 years, 2 months ago

Self hasn't installed the offense. It's not late January yet.

Steve Brown 10 years, 2 months ago

Soph Tyshawn Taylor had seven turnovers

As fans, we give 1st year players lots of leeway yet expect 2nd year players to have their head screwed on.

TWIN TOWERS, thank you for working so hard in the off season, to get ready for this one, your investment in training will pay dividends.

rawkhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

The recent Memphis game reminds me of the Davidson game in the '08 tourney. An ugly win, but a win. To play that awful against an inspired opponent and still win is some testament to the pure talent and defensive effort of this team (and a little bit of luck). I know it isn't UNC tonight, but I expect to see intensity rivaling that 40-12 run this evening.

yates33333 10 years, 2 months ago

Did anyone notice how easily Memphis' small guard went around Collins? In fact, they drove around all out players with a great deal of ease. Were they that fast or are we slower this year? Jaybate we need a better critique of the Memphis game.

IowaJayhawker 10 years, 2 months ago

You are absolutely right Drgnslayr, and yes you are right Brock. There is a lot to be seen from this offense, but as Brock says (and Self has said in interviews) the offense gets put in and implemented over time. So, I am not worried at all. This team is special, what we should take from the Memphis game is we got some experience of winning a close game. I compare this game to the USC game two years ago, we played like S**t but pulled it out. It shows us we are not invincible and will be a great learning tool.

So, long and short of it, I am not worried about the offense. Set plays and more of the offense will be put in over the next 2 months. We will be alright. ROCK CHALK can't wait to destroy Central Arkansas tonight

KUbsee69 10 years, 2 months ago

drgnslayr ... did I miss the story about Coach Self poking a player?

This seems like an anti-Mangino rant to me. You're criticizing last year's style. Why?

clm2122 10 years, 2 months ago

Yes, we had a bad game. Yes, we turned the ball over too much, but let's not forget that Memphis isn't that bad of a team. Whereas in years past I have felt that they have been a little overrated...I think they're a little underrated this year (mainly due to the fact that they have a new coach that is only 32 years old with no proven track record, not the players) Go back and look at the recruiting sites...the team we faced is still full of 4 star, athletic players and Williams was a 5 star that ended last season starting for Duke.

We're, by no stretch of the imagination, in mid-season form. What I saw was some sphincters clinching up because an unranked team was hanging with the #1 team on national television. I don't care who you one likes to hear the "overrated" chant.

Derek Conway 10 years, 2 months ago

Collins’ first class was at ... “9 a.m.” he said with a smile.

Do the quotation marks mean he didn't go to class? haha

Jeff Hargate 10 years, 2 months ago

I am glad for the win, but 21 turnovers on 73 (est) possessions is a problem. You don't see us only score 57 points and shoot 46% very often. It seems when we get "sped up" bad things happen. I would have liked to see some back screens as Memphis was pressuring our perimeter so much. Glad it is only November. Rock Chalk!

suttonku 10 years, 2 months ago

Look the turnovers were just a result of bad decisions, most of them in the open floor...And without Tyshawn playing so bad we only have 14 turnovers which is doable. Tyshawn was a complete no show in that game. He cost is big time. I can remember a play in particular where Tyshawns man was away from the ball and Tyshawn was just staring at the man with the ball and his man took a back cut to the basket and got a dunk and Tyshawn didnt even know that his man had moved.

I am happy we were tested away from AFH. I dont care how we look right now considering it only matters in February and March and I guess hopefully April. This time will get healthy tonight against UCA and then they will just move on. By the time we play at UCLA we will be rolling. And when we play Michigan we will get a boost with the return of Brady and a well needed Jeff Withey.

Eliott Reeder 10 years, 2 months ago

Dragon: to answer your rhetorical question... minus Cole's numbers we went 13-33 against Memphis, which is 39%.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 2 months ago

HMMMMMMM humble pie sure does taste better this time of the year than it does in April. We are fortunate that last-second shot didn't drop, but we were still able to come away with a good lessoned learned.

Now, all you jokers stop posting 40-0 & talking about March already....we have a long, fun season in store for us. Stop taking the fun out of a great situation by demanding so much so soon, and heralding unclaimed success.

Dragonslayer-when you expect a team to be March-ready in November, you'll always be disappointed.

ChicagoJHawk 10 years, 2 months ago

drgnslayr & co,

CALM DOWN!!! It's early in the season, we will be fine. Did we play poorly? yes. Did we turn the ball over way to many times? Yes. Should we have outscored them by more despite Collins being out for part of the game? Yes.

Has Self not already proved that his system works & that his team is ready when the time comes?

Keep in mind, unlike the 2 exhibition games, it was probably a big adjustment for our freshman to play away from Allen Field House.

Yes, we didn't look great, but its November & I'm confident Self will turn things around.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 2 months ago

Dragon... great points. I don't think you're being pessimistic (ala soobawls).

My KU basketball wishlist:

Twins to smile and lighten up. We need someone to pump us up like DBlock did.
Sherron in better shape. He looks light, but haven't seen turbo mode yet. Brady back to fill the Mr consistency position of RussRob X to follow his shots Elijah and/or CJ to give Taylor some competition if he can't take care of the ball.

Philip Bowman 10 years, 2 months ago

Taylor is better at twitter than passing the basketball. It's time he grew up.

kennethst 10 years, 2 months ago

It's don't be surprised by Tuesday's performance. Also, Memphis is a very good team.

Yes-offense was bad......but I thought defense and rebounding was great.

This type of game will he

Joel Hood 10 years, 2 months ago

drgnslayr (anonymous) says... " ...I know CS wants to stress D, and that is great, but to not put any effort on offense is ridiculous..."

I assume you were speaking pejoratively and not literally, drgnslayr. I appreciate your posts and I mean no disrespect, but that’s a pretty wild assertion. I understand your gripe about the offense, but I truly believe your complaint is with the execution as opposed to the design.

Self's true half court offense is rooted in his high/low – correct? Everything else flows from that initial philosophy. But, the effective execution of that offense requires discipline and understanding of the defensive rotation that can change minute to minute. That execution just takes time for a TEAM to understand. One person out of place screws the pooch. Then, you see that one-on-one dribble drive crap you talked about.

Last year, the Morris twins just started to get it in February. Cole got it earlier, but had no other experienced big to work with. TyShawn seems to have trouble reading it too. That is where I feel Brady has an advantage – he understands how the execution works.

But, my prediction, is that by late December, you will see vast improvements in the execution of the offense. I hope you are wrong and I am right. RCJH!

dtownhawkfan 10 years, 2 months ago

drgnslayr has never played on a basketball team before. let him be

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago



We looked less quick than Memphis, because we are much bigger than Memphis, and we actually played less quickly than Memphis, because their offensive scheme had us on our heels, and because our bulked-up players are early in a learning curve of learning how to play with their big bodies.


KU looked significantly less quick than Memphis and we are used to KU looking as quick and fast, or quicker and faster, than opponents--the last two seasons especially. So: part of our shared reactions was shock effect from the change in look.

But as you rightly note, it was not just appearance. Memphis players were blowing by KU players frequently.

Still, let's break the phenomenon down into appearance vs. reality.

Appearance Drivers:

First, there is the issue of KU playing much taller players and taller players appearing slower than smaller players. As my father told me from the time I was kind of gangly and could hold a basketball, little guys look quicker and faster than big guys, even when they are not, because they take two steps to go the same distance big guys go in one step. The difference between a humming bird and a hawk. So: KU appeared slower, whether it was, or not, because KU played players taller by several inches at almost every spot but PG.

Second, there is the issue of KU players being much heavier this year and heavier players appearing slower than faster players. Experience conditions us to expect lighter players to be quicker and faster than heavier players. Michael Jordan's lean body was consistent with expectations about what quick, fast players should look like. Hence, people talked about how he was the greatest player in part, because he had the body to be. Charles Barkley's round, pudgy body, on the other hand, was inconsistent with expectations about what, quick, fast players should look like. Hence, people talked about how amazing it was a fat guy could be so good. The fact was they were just both fabulous athletes with different morphologies.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

KU players weigh a lot more than last year, because of Hudy's weight training. Because they weigh more, especially versus a small team, our expectations make us see them as slower. Cole's upper body looked like a stick figure last year in comparison to this year and he is still rangy. This year, bent slightly at the waist, waiting to shoot a free throw, his shoulders and upper arms sometimes look like two halves of a manufactured house coming down the road with a wide load sign on it.

But its not just Cole. The Twins probably gained much more weight than Cole. And Xavier, though long, is powerfully muscled and carrying NBA weight.

Third, there is the issue of KU playing more big players at more positions. Self has a larder full of bigs; so many that he is playing Marcus at the three sometimes. This means much of the time we are playing three guys over 6'6" and two small guards, rather than three 6'3" or less perimeter players.

Except for Tyshawn, who seems as slim as last season, KU looks more like a Michigan State team than one of Self's previous teams. Even the '08 champion, which had some serious muscle on it, had that muscle mounted on incredibly athletic people. Rush and Jackson were really stout that last season, but they were also gazelles from the hips down. Jackson looked almost fragile below the hips.

Finally, KU is not a team of great leapers and if you can't go vertical in today's game, we expect such players to be less quick and less fast. Consider the '08 team again. Except for Kaun, everyone in '08 were leapers to go along with their bulk. By contrast, the Morris Twins are not leapers, even with their Hudy driven improvements. They now have, at best, average hops for D1 bigs. More guys on this KU team play a horizontal game than the '08 team, so this team looks less bouncy and less bouncy teams appear less quick and less fast, whether they are, or not.

But as you note, Memphis wasn't just looking faster. Memphis players were blowing by even our best guys frequently, so the speed gap was real and significant, even without the shock value of appearance.

So: let's get to the reality drivers and note that some appearance drivers show up on the reality drivers also.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Reality Drivers:

The likely suspects are:

  1. The added weight of our team--Hudy bulked these guys up in a big way, no doubt, as per Bill Self's request. In the case of the Twins, if you can't jump and play vertical, then you've got to get big and play horizontal. Weight is great at making it harder for opponents to move you around. It is great to make it easier for you to push opponents where you want them. But it is also more for our players to move around, too.

Now, there is not doubt that Hudy's regimens added muscle, rather than fat, and that muscle adds strength and explosiveness. But increases in weight of the magnitude the Twins, and others put on this off season, essentially create new bodies for these players. They have different centers of gravity. Different capabilities. Learning to use new weight in a game like football is rather easy, where the physical activity a player is engaged in is relatively limited. Add 50 pounds to a tackle and he is still doing exactly the same drive blocking with the same footwork he was before. But in basketball, if you had 30 pounds to a 4 position player, or 20 to a 2/3 player, he suddenly goes from being, say, a finesse forward, as Marcus was last year, to being a guy who is also expected to be a muscle baller--a banger. Finesse basketball and muscle ball require entirely different physical movements. The footwork is different. What you try to do with your man on offense and defense is different. More weight is great for playing against MSU. But more weight is problematic for playing against quick fast teams. New techniques have to be learned. Using new techniques means you are thinking more. You have a new learning curve to work through. This does not show up against a Hofstra, where you are so physically superior that you don't have to think. But when you go up against really quick and talented teams like Memphis, even if they are smaller, suddenly you have think. And the weight and inexperience at being so big against lightening quick small guys, and the thinking make you slower in reality. Fortunately, just as freshman slowly learn how to adapt to the D1 game's speed and quickness, sophmore's with new Hudy-ized bodies, will also slowly adapt to the speed and quickness of the D1 at their new weights, but it will take a few games.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Reality Drivers (continued):

  1. Memphis' Princeton-on-Steroids Offense--spread offenses with ball screening are still unconventional in college basketball; that is, most players have not grown up defending them either in highschool, or college. As a result, playing them the first time in a season, always confuses defenses, puts them on their heels, and causes a defense to look slower, less quick, and less aggressive than normal. Why does this happen?

Spreading the offense takes every defensive player, but especially the 3 and 4 players, out of their comfort zones by making them cover farther from the basket and so have to cover wider approach corridors on drives and on cuts. The 3 and 4 players really have to think about the opponent going right or left. They have to change their spacing from the opponent to try to channel them one way, or the other. And they have to worry about back picking and scrape offs over many more square feet of area and from many more angles.

Also, the ball screening of spread offenses is different from the more familiar pick and roll routines players learn to guard starting back in high school. In pick and roll, there is a perimeter player and a big. It is a two dimensional game, if you will. You either stay with your man you are familiar with, or switch off onto a big who is not much of a threat to create outside. It is simple. It is problematic, but there are few options to consider.

Ball screening 20-25 feet from the basket involving perimeter players, happens faster, and more unexpectedly. It pits perimeter players of varying speed in scrape-offs that force switches that trigger sudden shaking and baking in all approach corridors to the basket. It is a volatile situation. It is hard to guard for all involved.

But there is another stresser in the spread offense with ball screening that is not talked about much, and which we saw the effect of frequently in the KU-Memphis game.

Memphis chose frequently not to ball screen; that is, to just spread the floor and dribble drive against a KU defender feeling behind him for a ball screen/pick/scrape-off that never materialized. KU defenders were on their heels. Nothing is more effective against a Self defense than making them start out back on their heels feeling for picks. Why?

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

KU defenders in Self Defense are very aggressive and rely on the aggressiveness, and passing lane denial by their teammates to allow them not just to defend, but to attack proactively on an offense--to wreak havoc with what opponents are trying to do. Self Defense is an attack, not just a defense. In military jargon, it is defense of a region by attack and disruption of mobile, offensive strength. KU players are trained to get out and get on guys and guard them--to fight through picks and stay with them--to actually disrupt what the offense is trying to do. Force the offense to take different lanes. Force them out of their comfort zones. It is the opposite of what Self teams do on offense. On offense, they take what you give them. On defense they proactively try to destroy what opponents are trying to do, while at the same time defending. They take pride in their slides, but position, body and shove opponents out of their usual cuts. And they take pride in finding cut-off angles to beat offenders to places on the court. Though it can be laborious, it works well with motion offenses, and with impatient dribble drive offenses operating within 20 feet of the basket. Why? Because the spacing within 20 feet makes it fairly easy to channel offenders into help, or at least into congestion. And it makes every pass within 20 feet a potential strip. Offensive spacing at less than 20 feet from the basket turns a Self M2M defense into a kind of a team defense that is relentless and annoying and risky to operate against. There is always passing lane denial and (though frowned on as unmanly by Self) switch-off help, when a ball is moving around within 20 feet, so long as you never let your man get away from you. This is not new defense. It is traditional defense with intense emphasis and a lot of wrinkles we layman are probably not privvy to.

But if your man gets away from you by a screen, or pick, or just by cutting through congestion, then from that point on, unless you switch suddenly, your man on the loose getting the ball means someone has to cover him and that leaves someone else open. Passing lane denial instantly has a crack in it and switching becomes problematic. Who among your teammates takes whom, if you are 10 feet out of the equation. It becomes a kind of 4 on 5 game, if you are not man enough to fight through. But if you stay with your man, even if a step behind, you always have the passing lane denial and the switching help of your team mates, and your own recovery want-to to contain anything.

Now, compare this Self Defense practiced against offenses operating within 20 feet of the basket to the Self M2M defense vs. a spread offense that ball screens some times, and not others.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Every time a Self defender goes out to 20-25 feet to get in front of his man and slide with him, his man has more feasible corridors of dribble driving, or cutting, and switching help is more distant. Also passing lane denial is more tenuous, because of the greater lengths of passing lanes and more varied angles of passing lanes, and he is less confident at predicting where and when and by whom he is going to be picked, or scraped off on.

Now, think about what happens to help distances and passing lane lengths and angles, as well as dribble drive corridors, when ball screening starts. Each drastically shortens. Offensive and defensive play is suddenly occuring in a knot 25 feet from the basket. And when the ball screening triggers offensive action, and defensive reaction, then suddenly the knotting gives way the previous wide spacing. I can't emphasize this dynamic enough in explaining why spread offenses with ball screening are so hard for teams to guard, especially early in the season, when teams have yet to master their team defensive schemes.

Princeton on Steroids vastly expands the linkages of offensive action and defensive reaction, then suddenly shrinks them into knots, then just as suddenly vastly expands them again. All this expansion and contraction and re-expansion of offensive and defensive linkages puts tremendous pressure on M2M defenders to adjust their defensive reactions to sudden spacing changes. So long as defenses struggle with reacting and adapting to the cycle of expansion, contraction, expansion of offensive spacing, then the offense always has the advantage. It puts the defense on its heels and the defense is always trying to adjust and catch up about a half step slower than it is its custom; this is particularly problematic for a Self Defense scheme that derives much advantage from attacking and wreaking havoc. In turn, fewer strips means, fewer stops, and less disruption, means the KU players are even more tentative, mentally, when they come to down to play 70 point take what they give us on offense. Self's teams take their confidence from their defense. Take away that confidence on defense, and they will be tentative on offense, as well.

What to do with a spread offense that ball screens some times and not others?

I have my ideas, but I will let others take their cracks.

This post is about what made KU seem so much less quick than Memphis.

Summary: we looked less quick than Memphis, because we are much bigger than Memphis, and we actually played less quickly than Memphis, because their offensive scheme had us on our heels, and because our bulked-up players are early in a learning curve of learning how to play with their big bodies.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

End Note:

The Abstract was for Yates3333, who has the basketball knowledge to expand the abstract into the article.

The Article was for CWGOKU, who probably does, too. :-)

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

“We’ll get better. It’s all very correctable,” Self said.

Good enough for me!!


Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

drgnslayr (anonymous) says... " ...I know CS wants to stress D, and that is great, but to not put any effort on offense is ridiculous..."

Yeah...slayr your D creates O ! If you don't play D, they score. If you play strong and smart D, you create turnovers. You cheat that screen and double the ball. They panick and you have two KU defenders to steal and score.

Example: Mario/RussRob and now SC/TT

VegasJhawk09 10 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the insight Jaybate. Im a huge fan of KU basketball, have been since 88. But Im still a new guy when it comes to the intricacies of the game.

ROCKHAWK01 10 years, 2 months ago

Remember all, Kentucky and Mich. State also struggled tues. night...and they were at home, we were away. Let's just be patient....

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

ROCKHAWK01 (anonymous) says... Remember all, Kentucky and Mich. State also struggled tues. night...and they were at home, we were away. Let's just be patient....

Exactly Rock!! I'm sick of the stupid headlines "KU dodged a bullet", "KU squeaked by"...I guess kensucky and msu blew their opponents off the court.

Did you notice how ESPN kept the msu game on? to the very end!! LOL You'd thought they were the #1 team in the nation. They even showed the players and coaches of the two teams congratulate each other at the end of the game before going to the KU/Memphis game!

They should've switched to the tipoff of the KU game and put the msu score PIP

Oh well, guess we'll have to earn yet another season of wins and championships. This is why I hate it when we have close games like memphis because we're all of a sudden doubted or second guessed on the court! LOL

SCHNBALL 10 years, 2 months ago

Don't be a slayr hater, very valid points. I would refer to Ku offense of more of an inside-out offense than a high low offense. This offense, it a half court setting, is easier to guard than a motion offense, and yes we do keep 3 players outside the 3 point line. If you remember back to the KU-NC semi game, how many kickouts did we hit for 3's? I don't think you will see a change in offense for sure, but I think you will see the post get alot more touches over the next 2 weeks, and I think you will see alot more ball reversal as well. Still need a shooting guard, I will stick to my earlier post, either go big with Morris, Morris and Aldrich and let X play the 2, he is a scorer. Reed, Tyshawn are not at this point. Bring back Little and Releford!!

yates33333 10 years, 2 months ago

CWGOKU. Because he know the game better than anyone I know.

Thanks Jaybate.

addlime 10 years, 2 months ago

drgnslayr is so right!!!!

Some more motion in the offense (off the ball) would help tremendously. I think ball movt around the perimeter would also help tremendously. I didn't see one crosscourt pass from our perimeter players against memphis. Nor did I see a quick touch pass from the point to the other side of the court. The perimeter players have to move the ball much faster from side to side of the court in order to help the bigs get open and improve their position. Those quick passes change the entry pass angles faster than the defenders can adjust and allow experienced bigs to get in great position to do some damage. X will learn to make quicker decisions and move the ball better with time. He seemed to me to be thinking about scoring himself way too much, instead of reacting to the what the defense gave him (or didn't).

Memphis isn't as good as everyone makes them out to be. They couldn't hid the broad side of a barn for 90% of that game. KU was sloppy. Tyshawn is big time sophmore slump right now. looks to me like the success of last season and this summer has taken away a little of his drive. That kid's a survivor, he just needs a little motivation right now.

This season could be alot like Self's first season if the team doesn't buy into the offense 100%. And part of it could be on Self also. Seems to me, the difference between '04 and '08 was speed of play. Self seemed less Big 10 physical in the style he coached in '08. He let those super talented kids run more. Maybe its just because we were deeper...

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago


I take a somewhat different view of this, because of my premise of what Okie Ball philosophy is. I call it 70 point take what they give us. It involves playing through which ever players hold the greatest edge that the opponent gives us, in whatever tempo the opponent gives us.

In this philosophy, Self's teams have to learn to route the offense through several players, depending on what the opponent is conceding. They also have to learn two different offenses--the high low post, and the pic and roll--in which to play take what they give us. He then throws in some specific motion plays, like the updated Iba weave you mentioned, rather like a football coach puts in trick plays, for certain moments where surprise is to be used to recover lost momentum, or play for a final shot, or what have you.

If Self were to switch to a full motion offense, or spread offense with ball screens, or any of the traditionally set offenses, he would be moving into dictating the flow of play.

He would be saying: here, we are going to run this and shake people loose and decide who gets the shots and where. This shifts focus away from Self's philosophy of just enough ball movement and running to get guys into match ups that allow impact plays.

Self IMHO is making a radical, but very saavy choice. He is saying a player's and a team's energy resources are finite. He is arguing that spending more effort on defense and economizing effort on offense is the most efficient means of producing scoring opportunities.

Motion offenses, or Princeton offences, or spread offences with ball screening, force offensive teams to expend a ton of energy on offense, which leaves them with less energy for defense.

Self's philosophy is to get the ball in the guy's hands with the biggest edge, given what the opponent's defensive scheme is conceding, with the least effort, and take the shot and rebound like a mother to get stick backs.

Expending the bulk of one's teams energy resources on defense is where the big pay back of expending energy can be gotten, according to Self.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Defense can reduce an opponent's shooting percentage. It can cause stops. It can cause strips that result in high percentage, low effort shots. It can, if you have good rebounders, force bad shots that favor your superior rebounders. There are so many ways the extra expenditure of energy resources on defense produces benefits that Self reasons that an ounce of defensive energy is probably worth a pound of offensive energy in terms of net benefits.

In turn, it is a short step to reason that the team that expends the most energy on defense, is going to have the most scoring opps with the best percentage opps.

I think Self teaches them a lot of offense, but he does not teach them the kind of offense you would like to see, because the kind of offense you are advocating would require a big increase in offensive effort, which would leave less left for defense.

Think of offense as having the ball with no need to get it, just a need to score.

Think of defense as a boundless opportunity to get the ball to score.

It is a very weird and unconventional, almost eastern mystic way of looking at the game, but this is what Eddie did to basketball.

Economize team resources on offense by getting the ball in one man's hands with the best edge and let him make an impact play, thus really only drawing down the energy resources of one player, which in turns leaves more energy for the team to expend on defense.

Spend individual and team resources on defense in a big way to get stops.

If your team economizes on offense, but still gets the ball into the hands of a guy with an edge, and so scores at 46 to 55 percent from the field for the game, and your guys expend way more heavily on team defense than the opponent expends on team defense, then you are going to chop their shooting percentage to ribbons and win every time.

There have to be times when Self would dearly love to run a Princeton offense for 45 seconds, but he is a man with a philosophy and a brilliant strategist and tactician, given that philosophy. So: he sticks with his prime directive: economize effort on offense, spend on defense.

It is hard to argue with his results so far, though I fully understand your frustration.

But coach, couldn't we put in a little more picking and screening and cuts. Couldn't we install a motion offense just for brief stretches?

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

To which Self would think: good tactics advance strategy, they do not undermine it. I put in the weave, and a few other free standing plays, when we need to shake someone loose predictably and in a hurry. But the rest of the time, no, logic tells me that a motion offense draws down team energy resources unecessarily; team resources that could be better spent on defense. Defense creates more scoring opportunities. Motion offense just creates slightly higher percentage shots by a guy who does not necessarily have the best match up advantage. I like the ball in the guy's hands with the best match up edge that the opponent will give us way more than I like the ball in the hands of a guy who is running around like a machine coming off picks and shooting it whether he has maximum edge or not.

Self might continue: see, if we run a motion offense, they know where we are going to be and when we are going to be there and then they get to decide which of our guys to give a shot to.

In our hi lo and our pick and roll, we are running the offense just to get the ball in the hands of the guy we want to have it, and the we are letting him come up big by choosing to pop the shot, or put it on the deck and get to the rim. This way, the opponent never really knows what we are going to do, or when we are going to do it, because we don't know.

We make the choice. They don't.

We let them decide what two or three players they are going to try to stop, and which parts of the court they are going to try to take away from us. Once we know who they are going to try to deny, and what part of the court they are going to try to take away, then our job is simply, with a minimum of effort, to get the ball around to the guy they are conceding who nevertheless still holds the biggest match up advantage, and then rebound like heck if he misses. If we get into a jam, or its down to one shot, we get it into the hands of our best guy with the best match up advantage that we determine with a dedicated play.

drgnslr, i don't know if you will agree with me that this is what Self's calculus is, but, for better or worse, this is how I have come to understand and interpret the game that he coaches.

jaybate 10 years, 2 months ago

Personally, I prefer Tex Winter's Triangle to all other offenses. I grew up watching lesser players at KSU do superior things with it for many years and know it does not necessarily require the best players to be effective.

I even thought Self should switch to it for a time.

But the Triangle requires significantly more expenditure of team effort, because in any given play, three players are posting, screening and cutting, before the next combination of three players are formed to repeat the process. As Phil Jackson says, the Triangle is very Zen. It just keeps forming and reforming in a semi circle radially around the basket.

Notice that in Self's hi lo, or his pick and roll, really never more than two guys are expending major effort at any given time.

I know this goes against the grain of people who believe that maximum effort must always be expended to be at one's best, but if one looks at basketball as a zero sum energy budget game involving offense and defense. And if one values increased stops and ensuing increased scoring opportunities as more valuable than expending great effort to get only slightly better shots, then I think the logic is faultless.

Eddie was so smart.

And Bill is maybe even smarter, because he has taken it to another level by junking the motion offense entirely.

But there is always a counter strategy to any strategy.

The key is to counter strategy with effective counter strategy and not make the mistake of countering with just tactics alone. Tactics alone will get you beat 8 out of ten times.

I believe Self and Roy, despite their differing approaches, win 8 out of ten, because they both have sound strategies and appropriate tactics, among the best players for their respective strategies and tactics, and they rarely, if ever, vary from these strategies and tactics.

Same with Phil with the Triangle in the pros.

There's a reason some guys win consistently at levels much higher than others. :-)

Don Everett 10 years, 2 months ago

Great, now that there was a close game, I'm not watching any more the rest of the year. I'm buying into all the bad/terrible/no good/etc.

Can't wait for KU baseball, of course unless someone says they will be or are bad/terrible/no good/etc. Then I'll wait for the KC Royals to play, unless................

Don Everett 10 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate - if anyone actually reads your posts, they are dumber than you are.

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