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Friday, December 24, 2010

Keegan

Selby is Kansas’ wild child

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Growing up, we all knew the wild child who had the knack for doing crazy things and not only getting away with them but hogging the gold stars. The rest of us would get caught up in his mischievous spirit and get nailed by teachers, principals, parents, etc.

Eventually, the wild child unfairly would get pinned with the “bad-influence” label. It wasn’t his fault. The rest of us were to blame for not realizing we weren’t as smooth. We were slow to recognize our limitations were greater than his.

Watching this Kansas University basketball team, undefeated, ranked third in the nation and not even close to reaching its potential, calls to mind the smooth wild child because in the two games Josh Selby has played, some of the guys who play with him have regressed. Again, it’s no fault of Selby’s, who can get away with taking wild shots because they go in.

Junior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who had played so well pre-Selby, has looked, the past two games, eager to prove he can do everything Selby can do. Fits of playground basketball, and, in Wednesday’s 15-point victory against California, playground scuffling, have eaten away at the team’s disciplined style that allowed it to survive all comers while Selby sat out his nine-game suspension.

In the past two games, Taylor has made 3 of 15 shots, scored nine points, totaled six assists and 10 turnovers. He has gone from the player most responsible for Kansas exhibiting such sound shot selection to the player taking wild shots and bull-rushing his way to the basket.

It’s only natural that it will take time for Selby’s teammates to mesh with him. He has some playground to his game, too, that needs refining. Still, what’s a good shot for him is a bad one for most college basketball players. He turns it over too often (seven in two games), as do most freshmen, but the guy’s a natural scorer. Selby’s averaging 19.5 points and shooting .750 on three-pointers, .458 overall.

When Selby and teammates find the right rhythm, this team can become frighteningly good, particularly offensively and in transition.

Finding the most effective way to play together is the primary chemistry issue. Diminished minutes, shouldn’t be an issue. The players know their best shot at a Final Four lies with Selby playing a huge part. He’ll break down defenses in a way that will result in better scoring opportunities for others, particularly driven senior Tyrel Reed.

At times, Selby was caught out of position defensively against Cal, though not as often as in his debut against USC. On one possession, he offered timely help on the interior, popped back out to the perimeter and came away with a steal. His days as a reserve appear over.

“Josh played really well,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He is going to get better. We trapped the post and he didn’t give up a layup. He is starting to get it, but he missed a lot of floaters he normally makes. He is a guy who can score when we don’t really have a good offense.”

Self said Sunday is the team’s next practice.

“Josh deserves to be out there,” Self said. “So there is a great chance he will be starting.”

He already has demonstrated he knows how to finish.

Comments

Kevin John 10 years, 10 months ago

Start Selby, E.J., and Taylor - talk about a sick backcourt. All three are capable of running the point and can play above the rim. Best backcourt in the Nation.

KU_Alumn_2000 10 years, 10 months ago

I love EJ but he is not quite ready. Tyrel Reed is a rock...and one heck of an athlete. He rarely makes mistakes and doesn't turn the ball over. Having to guard Reed and Selby...two guys that can knock down the three...will be extremely difficult for opposing defenses. Reed also knows how to use his length to effectively play defense. No way EJ should start over Reed.

Jacobpaul81 10 years, 10 months ago

3 weeks ago, I'd have disagreed on Reed. He looked sloppy and his post-shot defense on both sides of the court was terrible. He had 0 offensive boards and was standing around watching the ball go up rather than following his shot.

However, he appears to have stepped this area of his game up the last few weeks and he actually looks like a halfway decent ball player.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree, what an awesome line-up that would be!

jchief40 10 years, 10 months ago

I haven't seen a guy that can make those floaters like Selby can. The guy just has amazing touch on that ball. It was crazy how he missed those in the Cal game - those go in for him 90% of the time.

chriz 10 years, 10 months ago

Actually, I'm sure you have seen someone hit those floaters, and believe it or not, the guy is playing in the same backcourt as Selby is right now. His name shall be called: Tyshawn. Tyshawn usually makes those floaters. I think he's just had a bad stretch recently, probably in adjustment to playing with Selby. (I agree with you on Selby. Things are going to get pretty exciting once he starts making those against stiff competition. People won't be able to guard him!)

aerohawk 10 years, 10 months ago

TT played awesome the first 9 games. Then Selby becomes eligible and his play makes a dramatic steps change for the worse. I think this is a mental thing for TT and hope he can get out of it. We do need him if we are going deep in march.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

@chriz First nine games I would have agreed but now it seems that he is trying to do more than he should. I'm not sure if he feels threatened by JS but actually this gives him a lot of opportunities to show his game. As the starting point guard, Josh will give him plenty of opportunities for assists, it will take pressure off of him bringing up the ball so that will decrease his turnover ratio and always knows that he doesn't have to be the one to create a shot. If he has it, take it. If not he should be able to go down low or back out to one of the guards. Having Reed AND Selby in at the same time is a very nice luxury.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Self's problem boils to this: who does he want playing PG and who does he want on the wing?

Tyshawn Taylor makes .115 TOs/minute playing PG

Josh Selby makes .112 TOs/min playing the 2.

If Selby moves to the PG, his TOs are likely to spike even higher than Tyshawn's.

Self's default options are EJ and Tyrel at the point.

EJ commits .05 TOs/minute at the 1.

Tyrel commits .03 TOs/minute at the 2.

Self has a very tough call to make.

He sounds like he wants to try Josh at PG, and see if Josh can get his TOs under control.

But a .112 TO/minute rate not even playing the point the first two games ought scare the bejeezus out of Self.

About the only way Self can afford Selby's likely TOs at the point is starting Tyrel and Brady around him, but then Self loses his best point defender and a terrific help defender in Tyshawn.

Unless Josh can really get his TOs under control, or unless EJ can suddenly blossom, this situation could default to Tyrel at the PG with Tyshawn back at his old 2 spot, and Josh on the other wing.

Regardless, Self is basically saying that the next three games against cupcakes are going to determine who the starters are for the start of the conference season. And the starters are not yet determined, except that Self thinks its time for Josh to start.

One more really interesting combination that could fall out of this might be Josh at the point, Tyrel at the 2, and EJ at the 3. If Self moves Josh to the PG, he could afford to move EJ to the 3, keep Tyshawn backing up Josh at the 1 and field Josh, Tyrel and EJ.

But if Self decides he really wants to put the team on Selby's back, he may have to play Tyrel and Brady on the wings to keep the TOs down.

A wild, wild, wild situation.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

pigballin,

I would have Selby with the ball any day, too, if he didn't have to do a ton of scoring for this team, maybe even be the first option, given that Marcus is struggling so with the doubling.

John Wall coughed it up at a frightful rate until Cal reined him around February 1st and began playing through Patterson and Demarcus to start being the best UK could be, then his TO rate dropped sharply and UK became a much, much tougher team. Wall never could stay the first option and dish efficiently. Yet Wall is a beaucoup draft choice and a starter in the L. Why? Because in the L, he doesn't have to be the first option either.

Derek Rose was not thrust into the first option crisis in his OAD year, because Cal had CDR as his first option from the beginning. Derek had a fine year tending to his distribution knitting and being a solid second option. He was a primero d-choice and his first pro season he was not the first option, so his floor game flourished. His next season, he became more of an offensive cornerstone and struggled part of the season, before learning to strike a balance between dishing and scoring. This season he has become a monster at both. It takes time, no matter how much juice you have. :-)

If neither Derek Rose, nor John Wall, could efficiently handle first option and running the team in their OAD seasons in D1 without coughing it up too much, while playing that candy assed high school offense that Cal runs, Josh Selby would seem likely to have more trouble doing it in Self's more diversified offensive schemes.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

Marcus needs to learn to see who is free if he is doubled down deep.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

If Self puts Selby at the PG and tells him to distribute instead of be the man on offense, then Josh could over the course of a month learn to be Aaron Miles. But this team needs his offensive juice, so who the heck wants an Aaron Miles at the PG, when you could have a Josh Selby at the 2, or 3. Really, this guy is smoking on the wings. And because Self runs the weave, Selby on the wing is basically the half court quarterback anyway. Josh decides whether the ball goes into the post, or whether the post should come out and play pick'n'roll, or if the weave should be run. If he could just protect a little better, all would already be well with Josh.

Self appeared to signal where he is probably headed with Josh, when Self was waxing orgasmic about Selby doubling down to help Kieff with the Cal post and the Cal post man was shut down.

That spells 3 to me.

Self erects quicker, faster over defensive prowess than offensive juice, even though he wants both. It is pretty tough to double down on the post from the PG. Guys on the wings do that.

Second, did you see Selby make that low, fast pass into TRob one time in the game? That is called feeding the post. Self also erects quick and fast for post feeding.

So: Josh is apparently going to start on a wing, whether you call it the 2, or the 3?

Tyrel's low TOs, improved defense, and once great, but currently so-so trey shooting would seem to get him the starting nod for the other wing.

But this hardly solves the PG problem, does it?

Again, I think Self has to give EJ a few more minutes of Tyshawn's time to see if he can play some quality PG and maintain the low TOs. EJ, god bless him, is already doing what Tyshawn and Selby can only dream of doing--protect.

And if EJ can't, and Tyshawn can't get himself back together, then Self has to make a choice.

Either Tyrel has to play the point, because he is the only other credible guy at protecting on the point, or Selby has to be given the point, mistakes and all, and Tyrel and Brady, or Tyrel and EJ, have to play the wings and hold down the TOs as much as possible, so Selby's probably sky high TO rate at PG doesn't sink the team.

One closing thought about Josh. Self could start Josh on the wings with Tyrel, then reduce Tyshawn's minutes on the point by bringing Josh to the PG after 5 minutes for as long as he is effective, and until he needs a blow. This reduces Tyshawn's minutes and TOs. But it won't work very well, unless Josh can reduce his TOs.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree. I think these team will function really well with Tyshawn @ the 1 and Reed and Selby @ 2/3.

Taylor does not need to score. The sooner he realizes it, the more quickly this team will improve.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

unfortunately TT tries too hard to be Selby and I don't see that changing soon.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

I wonder how many coaches wish the had the same decision?

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

"Does Anyone Remember a Guy Named Jeff Withey?"

Withey didn't even get on the floor for mop up minutes vs. Cal.

Yes, Cal had little bigs that were active, and a lot of people were cheap shotting, something Withey probably wasn't ready for, but...

How can Withey be seeing even fewer minutes now that Mario Little has disappeared into the Chronosimplastic Infindibulum?

Has Withey caught Cole's speculated upon mono?

In the previous game, Withey looked thinner and more gaunt and pale than at any time since he's been at KU.

Something has to be up with him.

Ann Oneill 10 years, 10 months ago

The Cal game was moving WAY too fast for Withey. I guess he could have gone in and fouled a few times, but otherwise he would not been effective in a game pace like that.

Michael Bratisax 10 years, 9 months ago

I think it's a case of Potential not living up to Reality and Self realizing that it is terminal.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 9 months ago

Withey simply isn't ready for the big time... yet. Seems like a nice guy and I hope he hits the gym hard this year.

100 10 years, 10 months ago

We're not shooting for a final four.

This team has bigger aspirations.

The key, like Christmas... Is giving....

The more you pass....

The more you will receive...

Pass, pass, pass yourselves to the 2011 National Title!!!!

And get down....

Slap the floor...

And play some defense for crying out loud!!!!

tis4tim 10 years, 10 months ago

I have to disagree, pigballin, with your assertion. Correlation does not necessarily imply causation and while I have argued that that Taylor's decline over the past couple of games is quite auspicious considering Selby has played the past two games, I don't think you or me or Keegan or anyone can truly say Selby is the cause and I don't think Keegan is doing so here. Under that pre-text one could argue that Selby is the reason for our lack of composure the other night and why Marcus threw an elbow and got ejected. After all, nothing like that happened until Selby started playing, right?

That's nonsense of course, but there is though a strong enough correlation between TT's drop off in production and Selby's arrival that it bears mention and merits discussion. Taylor, like all highly talented players, has too much ability to stay in a rut for too long, but another bad game or two out of him and one would have to entertain the idea that Selby's arrival is affecting Taylor's mental make-up in a profound way.

As others have pointed out on other threads, there is an adjustment period for everyone now that Selby is on board. Some too have suggested that he just had a bad game as every player does from time to time, and that his effectiveness was diminished by the ticky-tack foul calls when we played against Cal. I hope that is the case and that I am dead wrong in my assessment because I want to see Taylor succeed. Only good things can happen when he is on top of his game.

I guess time will tell.

Dirk Medema 10 years, 10 months ago

Marcus hadn't gotten ejected for throwing an elbow pre-Selby, but he had been ejected for bumping a ref. Obviously there are plenty of differences, but also way too much correlation.

IMO, 'Kief got rather pouty for a few minutes of play after Marcus left, but it was real encouraging to seem him play solid BB down the stretch. To me, that was the difference between letting Cal back in the game and putting them away.

Adam Evans 10 years, 10 months ago

Did you even watch the Cal game pigballin? Apparently not. If you had you would have seen everything Keegan commented on. Selby was definitely taking some wil shots. Even the announcers were commenting on it. The catch was that they went in. I can't remember the article it was from, but recently someone said that Selby is having no trouble fitting in with our offense, it's our offense that is having trouble fitting in with Selby. TT is the worst. He is starting to play like he did early last season. Play that garnered him a reserve roll off the bench. He is taking wild shots that are not falling, which he normally does not do, and is forcing things more than normal. He is playing flat out out of control. There is a lot of maturity that needs to come to this team, starting with TT and the twins.

ryanzig 10 years, 10 months ago

Jaybait, good stats! I think he should be the 2 man to Tyrel's PG, if and only if he gets that TO rate to diminish. And Withey will get worked in practice and not play until he can produce like a Kansas big should. He has potential, I mean, the kids 7ft and can run fast for a big. He displayed some good moves inside last season, I just think he needs some more experience and confidence. Your right, Jeff does look kinda skinney and just not right. I believe he`ll start competing though, at least by league play. Man, I love this team. They're clicking pretty well already, I cant imagine what its going to look like soon. Rock Chalk Title Talk.

ParisHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Interesting article and discussion, but I disagree with the premise. Keegan calls Selby a "wild child" just so he can say he's making others regress. Selby is anything but "wild", he's one of the most focused, aware freshmen I"ve ever seen. We all saw TRob last year, so we know what "wild" looks like.

The "wild child" makes others bad because they imitate him, but not as smoothly. That is not regression. Taylor is not playing badly by imitation of Selby: if that were true, he would be jacking up bad 3s. Instead, he is imitating himself of last year with drives that end in charges.

Other than that, there is a general problem, not just with Taylor: our lobs to the post that worked so well against lesser teams are being stolen by better teams. Didn't everybody expect this? It happens year after year! Not only are the other guys bigger with better hops, but they don't let the Twins get quite as good position as they got against the 'cakes. Post lobs can be "fool's gold" too if you're not extra careful.

Ian Brown 10 years, 10 months ago

@KU_Alumn_2000 -- I definitely agree with your take on EJ. He should not be starting, and at most, should get 10-15 minutes per game. I'm really not sure why so many people seem to think he should be starting. I just have not seen anything that would warrant him starting or getting more than 15 minutes per game. I love the kid, I would love for him to come along these next few games and make me change my mind. It's obvious that he's one heck of an athlete--we all know he can jump through the roof and do between the legs 360 slams--but he is still too raw, and to be quite honest, he seems to be a liability at both ends of the floor at this juncture in his tenure as a Jayhawk.

With that said, I'm well aware of the ongoing debate as to whether Brady should start or EJ, and vice versa. My take--neither. I would love nothing more than for Brady to succeed and play as well as he did during the 2008-2009 season--I grew up with him and we've been friends since the first grade at Quail Run Elementary--but his defensive strengths just aren't what they used to be, he's not a threat offensively (though I do believe he's a great passer), and to be honest, I think he's a liability if he's on the court for any extended period of time. I would like to see him come off the bench and play 10-15 minutes like EJ.

The starting line-up I would prefer to see: 1. T. Taylor 2. J. Selby 3. T. Reed 4. Mc. Morris 5. Mk. Morris

Or, if Tyshawn continues to play the same way he's played the last two games: 1. J. Selby 2. T. Reed 3. T. Releford 4. Mc. Morris 5. Mk. Morris

Depending on the line-up (I will go with the first one, for I don't see Coach Self benching Tyshawn to start the game), my depth chart at the guard positions would be as follows: Releford, Brady, EJ.

Obviously, the first big man off the bench is Thomas Robinson. I've been extremely impressed with him this season. He may not have Cole Aldrich's height or shot blocking ability, but he brings to the floor toughness that we did not have the last couple of years. I look forward to seeing his offense continue to progress as the season goes on.

As for our other big man on the bench, I am quite disappointed in Jeff Withey. I mean, the guy just doesn't seem to get it. It's frustrating to see that type of height just waste away on the bench. With the way our post players have been manhandled at times this season (see Arizona, UCLA, USC games, among others), we could really use a SKILLED 7-footer down low. Unfortunately, we have a slow, confused 7-footer who seems to have no idea what he's doing on the floor (with exception of a few minutes in a couple of games this year).

P.S. Josh Selby is the f&#$!^% man! He is fearless. Sadly, barring an NBA lockout or some other unforeseen circumstances, I believe he will be gone after this year (unless his mom, whom I've also grown quite fond of over the past month, can somehow convince him to stick around). Rock Chalk!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 10 months ago

Travis is becoming too important at the 4/3 spot to start at the 3.

I say that because of his cerebral development (blocking out bigger 4's and otherwise solid D) as much as b/c of losing Mario and Jeff's lack of D (development).

I don't think the coaches have any trouble at all convincing him of the significance of that contribution to the team. What a tremendously valuable component he has become, and his RS yr was to his D (development).

Ian Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

I agree with what you said regarding Releford's importance at the 4/3 spot, I've been quite impressed with his D on the post as well considering he is just 6'5".

With that said, I'm worried about how he will do if he's forced to guard that position for an extended period of time when we play teams with skilled/physical big men, such as K-State, Baylor, etc., because it appears as though the Twins and Robinson are going be in foul trouble in a majority of the games this year. Okay, I suppose I should have said I'm worried about our entire team against those types of teams, especially Baylor, for their front like is P. Jones 6'10", A. Jones 6'11", and Q. Acy, a stout 6'7". We saw what skilled, physical post men can do to our guys down low in our first three games against the Pac-10 this year... Marcus, Markieff, and TRob pretty much got worked.

This is where my frustration regarding Withey comes in to play. We could REALLY, REALLY use his size near the basket, if only he could effectively defend the post (I think we all agree he cannot, at least not at the moment.)

Anyhow, like I said, I agree with your assessment of Releford. I feel comfortable with him at the 4/3 spot for now, but I think we'll have to wait and see how things go when we start playing some teams that are noticeably longer than us.

JacquesMerde 10 years, 10 months ago

This is an excellent, though brief, article by Keegan. And, of course, a great analysis by you know who, but in case you don't, Jaybate!!

Ashwin Rao 10 years, 10 months ago

Poor Paris Hilton! Don't spoil her name! :) Just joking (feel free to remove this comment!)

HAWKTOPIA 10 years, 10 months ago

Keegan's drinking again!

The irony of our current hawkfest is that TT and Selby are not missing the 10-12 foot jumpers they are missing the 3 foot finger roll floaters. Keegan thinking that a 3 pointer from just to the side of the foul line is a crazy shot is nonsense, watch duke. The turnovers were mostly aggressive lobs.

wait.... short shots missing...lobs going awry....lets drive and dish for dunks. Withey is not going to play when a physical play is needed, and he is not quite a foul shot shooter.

Take the team chemistry crap home, and the turnover ratio issues too. Look who is making free throws for your answers. Look at history, if our team converts free throws we are champions, when we don't we are ordinary in defeat.

fansincewilt 10 years, 10 months ago

What is Self doing with Releford starting for Mk Morris? I think his purpose is to keep Markief out of foul trouble. With that being said, I think our best starting lineup as long as Markief keeps getting into foul trouble is: 1. Josh 2. Tyrel 3. Brady 4. Travis 5. Marcus

With this lineup you have two defenders with three scorers. Markief coming off the bench for Travis and Thomas coming in for Marcus. Taylor has to get his head into the game and coming in off the bench seems to help him sometimes. Without Little, Releford has been moved to a big. With Markeif's fouls, coming off the bench will keep him from getting into early foul trouble and extremely limiting us. We need Markief in there for 20+ minutes. When Markief or Marcus has to sit out most of the first half, we are forced to operate in a limited fashion.

With Selby and Reed on the perimeter, no one will be able to collapse on us as they have in the past. I don't see how Self can bench either one of them in favor of Taylor. When Markief comes in adding another scoring threat, Taylor comes in to make up for the lack of defense Markief brings. Probably crazy but that is the way I see things developing.

Marcia Parsons 10 years, 10 months ago

With regard to your first sentence (What is Self doing with Releford starting for Mk Morris?), Self has said many times that post players have to guard BEFORE the opposing team's post players get the ball. That's what Releford does--he keeps the guy out of position so he doesn't get the ball. Keiff waits until the guy has the ball, and then tries to stop him from scoring and ends up fouling. Self said so far Releford was the best post defender. That being said, the first time he started Releford instead was because Keiff had failed to show any energy during practice.

KansasComet 10 years, 10 months ago

From what I can see in Coach Self's system, the upper classmen tend to start. There are a few exceptions. E.J. will start next year and be famous, much the way Sherron was a starting player his junior year. The kid can play. He is a five-star recruit and extremely classy in my opinion to not complain about playing time or make statements about not knowing what his role is? Not a slam on Taylor, but I like the way E.J. carries himself. I believe the same about Withey, that next year is his year. We should only lose Morningstar and Reed next year to graduation. (Selby as well, depending on the NBA's potential lockout). This is not the first time that we have had talent not starting at Kansas. We are a program that is good enough for talent to wait their turn. We are not a one and done factory. We are Kansas, a first rate basketball program. Our team is made up of student athletes. I am not so much worried about who is starting, but I do care deeply about who is there for the finish. I like Selby, Reed, Taylor, and the Morris Twins to finish games. I would share my opinion on Mario Little, but he is not playing right now.

minnhawk84 10 years, 10 months ago

IMHO, Selby is not a OAD unless the Hawks win it all this year.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

Happy Holidays to all and Santa Claus will be putting out Chocolate milk and Jayhawk cookies tonight. HO, HO, HO!

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Those of you that doubt the possible "coincidence" of TT's poor play to Selby's insertion in the lineup have not been following TT close enough over his career. The main point I made on TT last season, as the cause for his poor play, was that he wanted to be "the man." He forced the action, didn't let the game come to him, etc. A lot of what's been said over the past day or so. I personally felt TT would never be able to be team first guy. The first 9 games of this season proved that theory wrong.

He is being challenged now. He is fighting the demons. His instinct is to be selfish, to look for the spotlight .. no different than 99% of the sports-playing population. His status on the team is being threatened by a guy that plays the same position, that could take his spot at the 1. What TT needs to realize is that Selby's presence on the court will not only open TT up for more scoring simply by accident, but it will also create an opportunity to double his assist totals. As teams gameplan against Selby, the view of the court will change as Selby is always accounted for as a 1+ assignment (his man, plus an area helper). There is nothing like that on this team, except when Marcus is doubled in the post.

Solely because of what TT did in the first 8 games of this season, I believe TT can overcome this urge. And because of what he did in the first 8 games, he deserves our patience. Let's reassess after the Iowa St. game. He can do it. But it is up to him. His willingness to shift back to a team-first player is now the biggest threat to our national championship run.

Part of my comment yesterday on TT, below:

Again, it may be coincidence, but it appears that the minute Selby became part of this team, TT felt threatened by his presence and started forcing things (just like he did most of last season next to Sherron). However, he still built up some equity with his early season performances. I think he'll settle down. It is worth following. Because this is the single biggest threat to our title hopes, but it may be the single biggest hope. A word to TT .. you will never be the man by scoring. That's not you. But you can become the man, perhaps the most important player on this team, by focusing on creating scoring opportunities. You had five assists last night. It could have been 10. I would suggest to this young man that vs. TX-Arlington that he is prohibited from shooting except on a dead, by yourself layup (and only if you can't give it to someone else for the slam). Focus him on just getting assists. Challenge him. How many can you get? What's the KU record for assists in a game .. who knows .. but try to break it.

Merry Christmas!

Joe Baker 10 years, 10 months ago

Dang HEM- I totally agree with your observations. I find myself agreeing with you way too much. Maybe it's the holidays!!

Here's to TT getting his head on straight and consistently.

Happy Holidays!

RCJHKU

Kurt Eskilson 10 years, 9 months ago

Is it possible to appreciate both HEM and Jaybate? Is that allowed? (Great post HEM.)

Dale Kroening 10 years, 9 months ago

Been thinking the same thing, great post !

Truthhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Man, HEM, you are on it. Double +1.

Viking76 - Yes, you can. Two different angles .. but not sure Jaybate will like it.

KU_FanSince75 10 years, 10 months ago

I posted this during the game broadcast. After the alley oop pass to Robinson from Selby, I said, "Selby is unreal." I think Jaybate said that Selby is the best guard KU has had since Jo Jo White and Captain Kirk. And he said, Selby is one shot from being better than those two. I have to agree with you Jaybate. You know your KU basketball. It will be fun to see Selby perform in places like Manhattan, KS and Columbia, MO. Those games will be like the Cal game we just saw on Wednesday. Have a lot to look forward to-----Rock Chalk & Merry Christmas!

Tallhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I love the starting line up of:

Selby Reed Marcus Taylor Markief

Just because you start does not mean you will finish the game as Bill has stated over and over, anyone can be pulled from a game in seconds if they are not doing their job. IMO everyone needs to see how we do the first few games in conference before we start crowning Selby the "Crown Jewel" , he is very talented but still young and has not had to deal with teams that play great defense which we will encounter in conference, hopefully he will not miss a beat, but again he is a young kid and that is expected. Go Hawks. Happy Holidays all you Jayhawk Fans.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 9 months ago

You might look back .. three of TTs best games were immediately before the USC game when Selby hit the floor .. UCLA, Memphis and Colorado St. TT was awesome vs. UCLA .. 17 points, 7-10 shooting, 5 swipes, some big takes to the hoop. I think you might be "misremembering", to quote someone I can't remember now.

Ian Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

You always have to make sure you get at least one shot in on Brady, don't you, jayhawkinnebr? Seriously. In 99.9% of your posts during the last three weeks (or perhaps, longer), you have made it a point to knock on Brady. I have never seen a current Jayhawk get hated on more than Brady. It seems as though you have some personal vendetta against him. I think I've heard you praise the entire Kansas State team more times than I've seen you write something remotely positive regarding Brady. You'd think he nailed your girlfriend or something. Wait... Is that what happened? Awww, I'm sorry buddy, cheer up. You'll find someone else.

Dustin Gudde 10 years, 9 months ago

As much as I cuss Taylor and wish he didn't force the slop that he does. He isn't going anywhere. Self already said that Taylor will not be the one to sit out of the starting line up and he has proved that the last two games with Taylor playing 34 minutes one game and 29 the next even with his 10 turnovers. Last year he went to the bench after one or two bone head plays. This year it seems the more he screws up, the more Self wants him in there to figure out his game. I think Self is in it with Tyshawn. Good or bad!

kcglowboy 10 years, 9 months ago

This is an open letter to all local sportswriters; not picking on Keegan here: Can we PLEASE go 48 hours without a Selby story? Don't get me wrong, I love the guy. But if Mr. Keegan's hunch is correct in this column, and our other players are trying too hard to "Be Like Josh," then let's all stop feeding the beast for a few days. And yes, I understand the dilemma that local sportswriters face: it's hard to generate meaningful copy over the Christmas break; and harder still when the team goes 7 days between games. But still, PLEASE, can we find something (or someone) else to write about? Thanks ... and Merry Christmas to ALL overworked, underpaid, under-appreciated journalists!

Chris Bruning 10 years, 9 months ago

going clear back up to the top of these posts i would have to disagree with KU_ALUM and agree with up4par2000 about Elijah Johnson...... KU_ALUM.....how exactly isn't Elijah ready? from what i have seen so far this year he is absolutely ready.....every three he has taken has gone in or in and out which means he is shooting with confidence......last year Elijah could barely take two dribbles before he had to pass it (nerves). This year i see him exploding, and putting on some moves while handling the ball real well..tyrel reed is the better shooter but Elijah has the ability to go up and slam it down and is quicker.....I would start Elijah....dangerous backcourt

Woody Cragg 10 years, 9 months ago

Only my opinion but they don't have the rebounders/passers that we've seen in recent years and the break suffers because of it. Doesn't matter who runs the point except that it should be a disciplined half court offense & not the 6' 10" guys trying to knock down 3's from the top of the key. Reed & Releford are not the outlet guys like Arthur & Cole and the lanes are full long before the ball gets to the middle of the floor. We all know fast teams get their lights screwed out during conference & tounament with tv timeouts, so play the half court. Josh is smokin on the wing so like JB says, leave him alone. Let him play within his comfort zone as long as possible. If TT keeps trying to play to the level of Selby he needs to give it up to EJ & Reed tho Tyrel doesn't have the true ball handling skills needed at this level. Plus they're only 3 deep in the paint and Withey looks "spooked" all the time. I think EJ's time has come even if TT has paid some dues. He still has to mesh with the guys on the floor & you can't deny Josh. If it ain't broke...leave him on the wing. He's not Rush on defense, but the point may tear him down before he is able to fit there as a general and a prime scorer. I think EJ is the guy for the gig.

Dale Kroening 10 years, 9 months ago

Reed doesnt have the true ball handling skills needed at this level ? Are you serious ? In 301 minutes ( which is 2nd on the team behind Taylors 309) he has 9 turnovers which is BEST on the team.

Woody Cragg 10 years, 9 months ago

He should have far less TO's-he isn't bringing the ball up the floor. Quickness allows or defends offensive progression. Many defenders will be too much for him to attack. Passing skills OK but dribble is not quick enough. Great court vision & presence and will be alright for some minutes at the 1, but not the best alternative. Real savvy kid, don't get it wrong. Just sharing minutes with EJ or TT would be OK, but not the answer to the real negatives here, chemistry, egos, & lack of depth at the 4/5 slots. Reed's about the best team guy Self has had at KU, I just don't think he's quick enough for major time at the point. In case you missed it, it's only an opinion unfounded by any statistical reference that you obviously have enough time to accurately research. But when a guard brings the ball up the floor with his back to the defender, he's protecting it with his body for obvious reasons. We're not all blind folks out here, and they're not the only one's whom have ever played the game either, even if they believe otherwise.

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Tyrel Reed is too steady and competent to spend more than 12 minutes on the bench. For most of his minutes he plays at 95%+ potential. Granted, his potential might rate only an A-/B+ on a Division One Top Major scale; but Self knows that he can count on the Kid from Burlington to lay it on the line, game in and out. He hits freethrows, is always a threat from the arc, and can be counted upon to play solid defense. Every game he seems to find a way to slash to the basket for points. He is the antithesis of selfish. Tough but coolheaded. A team player. Bill Self's biggest weakness the past two seasons might be the paradox of recruiting too many potentially outstanding players. Freshmen and sophomores sometimes learn all too slowly that unless they produce noticeably in practice sessions or trial gametime minutes, they will see very limited playing time. Coach comes in for criticism for yanking players who display poor gametime judgment. He is a stern teacher whose lessons are received quicker by some recruits than others. In the final analysis he is among the nation's best coaching talents, and the faster a player can learn to adjust his own potential to Self's mode of operation, the more minutes we will see him on the floor. Potential and public school development are a fine thing, but faced with competing with an experienced senior like Tyrel Reed, the Elijah Johnsons of the collegiate basketball world must adjust very quickly to every opportunity to learn and demonstrate what their coach expects. Self will not give the nod to Tyrel if a younger contender outperforms him in practice or gametime minutes. If Elijah can show the patience and keep developing, his minutes will come...just as did Russ Rob's or Sherron's or Cole's. As for the upstart Josh Selby, he lives on an entirely different plane than most recruits who have ever donned a Jayhawk singlet. He is going to start and help carry this squad to near maximum potential! Self has done a masterful job of pitching him into the lineup. Tyshawn and everyone must quickly adjust to this addition. Or sit and watch.

Chris Bruning 10 years, 9 months ago

cap10d........globaljaybird is right, reed doesn't have the ball handling skills of this level

David Howell 10 years, 9 months ago

Other then the turnovers, right now I can live with some of TT's bad shots. However, if they continue then HCBS has something to worry about. Other then Reed at PG I believe that EJ would bring the same issues to the point as TT. Thus more playing time for him could be in the works to see if we live with TT or see more of EJ. Enough with the acronym's .......

What I believe could be happening is what some have mentioned and happened last year with Sherron. When Xavier Henry really burst on the scene and starting scoring, it was like you could see Sherron say, "Oh yea I can do that too .....". But we all know that sometimes it worked, but many times Sherron shot us out of games instead of involving his teammates and not finding the open man or hot hand more often. The same could be said in relation of Tyshawn to Selby.

I hope this isn't happening with Tyshawn, but with some of our players looking more like playground players then team players lately, I have to consider it. We need to Tyshawn to get it figured out. We need his leadership, energy and ability to drive to the bucket and get fouled. We are becoming too much of a perimeter team !

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