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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Withey gives Jayhawks early lift

Kansas center Jeff Withey (left) and forward Marcus Morris speak after a timeout in the first half, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey (left) and forward Marcus Morris speak after a timeout in the first half, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU-Nebraska

Reader poll

Who played best in the second half of KU's 75-64 victory over Nebraska?

  • Cole Aldrich 19% 338 votes
  • Sherron Collins 13% 243 votes
  • Marcus Morris 58% 1038 votes
  • Markieff Morris 6% 122 votes
  • Other 1% 31 votes

1772 total votes.

Reader poll

Which KU big man off the bench played better in the first half?

  • Thomas Robinson 28% 6 votes
  • Jeff Withey 66% 14 votes
  • Undecided 4% 1 vote

21 total votes.

Kansas center Cole Aldrich says he sees a little bit of himself in teammate Jeff Withey.

“He’s a little better than I was as a freshman,” Aldrich said following KU’s 75-64 victory over Nebraska. “But he’s long. He can block some shots. He’s going to be good someday.”

KU fans saw a glimpse of how good Withey could be on Saturday.

Withey, in nine first-half minutes, contributed four points, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal with no turnovers.

“Coach always tells me to be ready, and that if I get in I have to hit some people and rebound,” Withey said. “I think I did that tonight.”

Withey was inserted into the game partly because of necessity, as Aldrich, Markieff Morris and Thomas Robinson all racked up at least two early fouls.

“I thought he kind of bailed us out in the first half,” KU coach Bill Self said of Withey.

As the whistles piled up, teammate Elijah Johnson jokingly turned to Withey and told him to get his legs warm.

“We were just having fun on the bench,” Withey said. “He just told me to get ready. I started stretching.”

Even with the advanced warning, Withey said he wasn’t entirely prepared for the extended minutes.

“I don’t have my ‘game wind’ yet,” Withey said. “I was pretty tired, but the energy of the crowd helped a lot.”

Self said afterward that Withey will play more in games where opposing teams use two true big men instead of a big man and a guard down low.

One team that plays two true post players often is Texas, which also happens to be KU’s opponent Monday.

Despite playing well in the first half, Withey didn’t play in the second half.

“It’s all right. I understand my role on the team and understand that coach is a basketball genius,” Withey said. “I’m not going to take anything away from that. He knows what he’s doing.”

So does Withey believe that, right now, he’s better than Aldrich was as a freshman?

“I don’t know. Cole’s a great player. Only time will tell, I guess. I can’t say too much,” Withey said with a laugh. “I want to be a little bit humble on that one.”

Aldrich has noticed that whenever Withey plays, he seems to be having fun.

“He’s just a young kid still,” Aldrich said, “just living the dream.”

Comments

KU_Alumn_2000 9 years, 11 months ago

Withey will be an absolute beast down low if Hudy gets a hold of him this summer. If Withey packs on about 25-35 lbs of muscle between now and next October...we will be another top 10 team by the end of the 2011 season. Especially with Relaford and Little's experience coming back to the team.

The primary question mark for next year is who will take care of the ball at the point. Morningstar may not be a bad option...with Reed at SG. EJ, Taylor, and CJ coming off the bench with lots of minutes...then we have to factor in which recruit will sign down the stretch. Woolridge will probably have a learning curve to overcome before he's ready.

I don't think X is ready for the NBA...but he will be with time. The sky is the limit for X...he just needs another season or two with HCBS.

JJHAWK 9 years, 11 months ago

“He’s just a young kid still,” Aldrich said, “just living the dream.”

You have to love Cole!

Bruce Brock 9 years, 11 months ago

What do you suppose the chances are that Aldrich will decide to continue "living the dream" next year? The default is zero, that is, he'll definitely go for the NBA money. Yet he certainly does seem to enjoy college and appreciate the academic value. I can't help but wonder.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm afraid you're right, but he did say again the other day how important getting a degree is to him. Hope springs eternal!

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Don't fret over next year, we'll be just fine. Look at all our eggs warming on the pine.

Sure some of our birds they may fly away. don't fret over next year, sit back and enjoy today!

RCJHKU- brand horns.

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Big Monday game. Hostile environment. Big, deep & fast opponent. Top Twenty team with experience. Travel on one day rest. Tired legs from last three games. No problem.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 11 months ago

Isn't Cole close to finishing his degree? I thought I recalled reading that he would be finished or very close after 3 yrs. He's as ready as he will ever be.

It remains to be seen for X. He's definitely in a slump, but slumps are not uncommon at any level. He could easily come out of his slump and have a monster March/April. Maybe he remains 4th fiddle behind Sherron, Cole, and McM. Maybe CJ finally gets healthy and X decides to come back to actually play a year with his bro. It would seem that there is some physical maturing remaining (? games) inspite of the gym developed "NBA ready" body. He would definitely be drafted on potential, b/c that's what the NBA does. Hopefully, X will see the benefit of proving his ability to play at an intense level for 40 games before jumping to 80 - 100 games in the NBA. It ould be the difference between 1st round and high lottery.

slowplay 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm sure the scenario will change before the season is done, but X is dropping like a rock on most draft boards. Yes, a lot of teams draft on potential, but league play has shown a lot of flaws in Henry's game (not only shooting). If he wants to maximize his earning potential, 1 more year would put him the top 5 or 10. Aldrich is gone. He's a top 10 pick. Playing one more year would be a mistake. The player who is opening eyes is Marcus. It will also be interesting to see where Collins ends up. Some boards have him in the top 15-20 some don't even have him in the top 30. But, he's getting a lot of media exposure and it will depend on how far KU goes in the tourney.

PAHAWK1 9 years, 11 months ago

Would it be nice to see Cole, Withey, Marcus, Brady and SC start against Texas?

Chris Shaw 9 years, 11 months ago

“It’s all right. I understand my role on the team and understand that coach is a basketball genius,” Withey said. “I’m not going to take anything away from that. He knows what he’s doing.”

Have to love the quote that could get yourself more playing time! LOL! Nothing like a little sucking up with a "Genius" comment. LOL! I love it!

Robert Brock 9 years, 11 months ago

If our offense (no matter the lineup) continues to struggle to put up points - from basic offense - the Horns will run us right out of Erwin.

swjhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

I was much impressed with Mr. Withey and smiled at Cole's comment. This kid, Withey, has a bunch of upside that I hadn't seen until yesterday. We'll be very competitive next season if he continues to improve (and there's no reason to think that he won't).

I am also much impressed at the improvement in the Big 12 teams. Where are the cupcakes? I enjoy blowouts and this pressure of everybody being better is hard on my blood pressure.

tis4tim 9 years, 11 months ago

We'll be up for UT. We tend to play to the level of the competition and UT, despite the recent slump, is still loaded with talent. We'll be ready.

What is a concern is that our distinct advantage from the FT line seems to have evaporated over the past two games. UT is something like 317th in Division I in FT%, but we've missed 32 FT in the past two games alone. That is absurd for a 70% squad. I hope it's only an aberration and not a trend.

Monday's game will probably come down to free throws. I figured if we play tight defense and limit the "and one" opportunities (Cole) at all costs on fouls, we would eventually pull away in bonus situations. Now, I'm not so sure.

utahjayhawk 9 years, 11 months ago

Excellent analysis, slowplay and PA. I can't imagine NBA scouts being sold on X at this point. He's still pretty one-dimensional, with the rare exception of his mid-range pull-up yesterday. He's got to get tougher with his drives..........typically, he seems to feel it out going left and flare back out to the perimeter with the slightest contact (which is probably what he experienced in HS/AAU). He's got to keep driving under more contact and learn to feel his way to the bucket or draw a foul by excessive contact (without dropping his shoulder).

It's so nice to see folks on here that serve as the grammar police. That's why I come here really -- to brush up on syntax, use of colloquialisms, etc.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

The best part of this story is Withey getting a little PT and doing something positive with it.

The second best part of this story is The Prophet being quoted and sounding cheerful. It sounds like he's got a bond forming with Withey. A bond between The Prophet and Withey could be the greatest news this season regarding the outlook for next year's team. Marcus likely will be the man next season, or Marcus and X, if X returns, but these two guys could give Marcus and X the kind of impact support on the down the middle axis.

Go Prophet!

There's no shame in choking as a freshman on a 22-1 team. No shame in not playing much.

Hang in. Stay positive.

Next season could be a great one for you, or an incremental growth season, but two season from now, if you can hang in, you could be a consumate combo...if you learn to shoot the rock.

Keep protecting the ball better and better in practice and start shooting 300 or more treys a day (100 morning, 100 afternoon, and 100 evening, religiously, but 500 or a 1000 per day would be much, much, much better). Start April 2rd (never do anything on April 1st) and continue nonstop till October 15. Take a week, or a month, and do nothing but shoot. Shoot when everyone is partying. Shoot when they are sleeping. Shoot when they are playing U19. Shoot when they are taking road trips. Take a week and try shooting dawn till dusk just to test yourself. Shoot, shoot, shoot! Shoot with the video tape running. Pick someone to model your shot on. Get tape on them. Watch them when you are not shooting. Shoot, shoot, shoot! Go get hypnotized by a sports psychologist.

Shoot till your streaky-ness goes away, shoot till you drop and then shoot some more. Shoot for 40%. Shoot to minimize the droughts. Shoot in your sleep. Shoot while the cell phone is on speaker phone.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

Let Hudy develop the muscles in your upper body, especially your shooting forearm and your legs that will add 2 feet to your effective range, even if you think your range is far enough now. Nothing spikes a shooter's confidence more than adding two feet of range. It makes the three point stripe seem like a 15 foot floater.

Shoot, shoot, shoot, for all you are worth.

Even if you don't improve very much, the coaches will see this work ethic.

Your teammates will see it too.

You will see this.

Out work Tyrel.

It will brand you a leader, not just a good looking, physically gifted, potentially great impact player.

It will brand you a man learning to hunt and kill for his living.

All great players (and great professionals in every field) have high seriousness about what they do, whether or not its veneered by amiability, or tough guy bravado.

High seriousness is revealed by commitment to mastery of technique.

Shooting is a technique.

Wooden proved long ago that you could teach almost anyone to be a proficient shooter from at least certain spots on the floor, if they fixed their mechanics and worked long enough at perfecting them.

You've got the time now.

Do it.

melrank 9 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate - Dragon (I think) has done a marvelous job as "keeper of the twins". Someone else is keeper of someone that I can't keep track of. Are you signing up for "keeper of the Prophet"?

BTW, I jabbed you a couple of times earlier in the year for your Withey love fest. Even though you were starting to question your own posts, yesterday's performance made me wonder if he can give us 10 quality minutes a game as part of the rotation as you predicted.

Alan Mills 9 years, 11 months ago

Time to help Xavier Henry find a seat way down at the end of the bench between Little and Relaford. Is it too late to redshirt? Or, perhaps, we can push him towards the NBA...not that anyone will take him. But, if he hires an agent he can't come back. I'm sorry, I know there are many of you who are deeply in love with this kid. But, he really is one of the worst players we have. He cannot shoot, period. He cannot defend at all. And, he cannot handle the ball. I just do not understand why he keeps getting minutes!

At a time when the rest of our team is rounding into February form, seems time to remove Xavier Henry from the rotation completely. Eat some crow, accept that everyone missed when recruiting this kid, and move on.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 11 months ago

I know the Final Four is in Indianapolis this year--just curious, where is it next season? Anybody know?

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 11 months ago

The grammar police should check the dictionary before speaking. The correct word isn't "alright" which has common usage but isn't considered correct. It is an informal, made-up word which is incorrectly used to replace "all right".

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

"Cole, Withey and Presiding Over the Paint"

Withey will never be a mad stork kind of defender, rebounder and shot blocker in the Cole mold.

But he does not look soft.

And he does have a better feel for offense than Cole.

Only time will tell if he has the heart and warrior's will to rebound from beatings that Cole has shown during his development.

But the key question with Withey is ultimately the same key question for every big man.

Does he have a streak in him that just plain likes to impose not just his own will in the paint, but real order?

Cole has struggled a lot with injuries and lung problems and personal problems this season. He has often not played as impressively in numbers as he did last year.

But Cole brings something more important than numbers this season that he did not bring consistently last season (and as things straighten out for him, his numbers are rounding back into form).

The biggest difference between Cole this year and Cole last year is that he now acts like the chairman of the boards. He now knows that even though there are times when he will be beaten, his job is still to be the chairman of the boards. There are times when he dispenses punishment around the basket, not because it is required to make a play, but because it is required to make a point.

In grand strategy among nations there is power and there is force.

Roughly, power is the ability to compel desired behavior without force.

Submissive states and nations submit to power, because, whether they like it or not, the dominant state and nation are willing to, and periodically do introduce overwhelming force that makes willing compliance a rational choice.

Some times overwhelming force is applied, because it is necessary to achieve a particular objective.

But other times overwhelming force is applied to revitalize power.

Power is the cheap and efficient way to maintain order in a world, a state, among members of a submissive nation, and in the paint.

Force is one of the key ways to revitalize power from time to time.

Would that it were not so, but even Gandhi relied on the application of nonviolent force to achieve reordering of the efficiencies of power in more just distributions.

Cole Aldrich always walks around like he owns the paint this year. He walks around like KU and he hold the power to make other teams submit. This give KU a great edge, even when Cole is not committing overwhelming force. Some times teams start out submitting. Other times teams test him. But eventually, most opposing teams submit to this power by going outside, by trying to finesse around Cole, by saying he's more trouble if we attack him, than if we stay away.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

But one of the keys to Cole's improvement this year is that he has learned that power needs only infrequent shows of brute force to be compelling and he has learned that application of brute force sometimes needs to correspond with a particular play (KU needs a basket at any cost to turn the momentum back in KU's favor and so he crushes those in his way on the way to a slam), but other times a show of force has to be made even when things seem to be going well, just to perpetuate and revitalize the power that is imposing his order in the paint without him doing much at all.

Watch Cole. There are times now when he dishes out a little punishment to remind an opponent that force can come at any moment, not just when things are going badly for KU. Cole has gotten very good at inconspicous, but painful shows of force that perpetuate the order in the paint. They are often hard to see, but their residue is there if you look. A skinny Nebraska post player who steps out and shoots a three on him and feels his oats a little in his face, suddenly finds himself down on the blocks at the other end of the floor, when they are away from the action, getting an elbow to the back of the head as the KU shot falls through the cords. He also gets a look from Cole that says that was no mistake; that there is more where that came from. The next trip down the floor, order was restored. Power flowed. There was more willing compliance and less stepping out for threes.

This ability to be chairman of the boards, to be president of the paint, to not only show force, but also to orchestrate power, is what all accomplished post men can do, regardless of their varying abilities to defend, rebound, pass, and score.

Wilt in his later professional years became the consumate power broker of the paint. Opposing teams literally became docilely after some of his shows of force.

Cole lacks the supreme physical abilities of Wilt, of course, but he is growing toward a similar mind set. If a big man does not rough up the opponent from time to time, the opponents begin to really butcher him and his teammates.

To Cole's credit, against KSU, it was KSU players that were feeling the force and in the end complying to the power.

It will be interesting who will win this war of wills vs. Texas with big Dexter being such a load.

But it was Bill Russell who proved against Wilt from time to time, that the chairman of the boards was not necessarily the biggest, and strongest man in the paint. Intellect and force of will and a sense of timing sometimes tip the balance in the favor of the slighter physical specimen.

Cole has quite a lot of these qualities of intellect, force of will and a sense of timing.

These abilities of Cole's, above all, Jeff Withey should be studying.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

melrank,

What would basketball posting be without a little poking?! :-)

I just got a huge poke from HighEliteMajor for being wrong about the positions RR and The Prophet played in high school!! And deserved it.

Thanks for noticing Jeff's play and the roll he can play down the stretch.

Pokes and strokes.

What else is there in life?

Rock chalk!

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

melrank,

Oh, and regarding becoming The Prophet's iSponsor, I'm already assigned by slyr to Tyshawn and look at Tyshawn...he's finally come around as a fully competant glue man!!!

I believe someone else has to take on The Prophet. I had hoped it would be HighEliteMajor, but he seems rather fetishistically attached to EJ's "looks." He doesn't seem to really want to take The Prophet in for a full digital rebuild required to get a contributing player. ;-)

Oh, what the heck, if the Prophet needs me, I will answer the call...if no one else will.

How about you melrank? It is apt to be a thankless task, but you can almost be certain that some injury, or sickness, will get The Prophet at least one more chance to contribute an important ten minutes.

This is The Special Season, after all.

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 11 months ago

I'm not one wanting to see Withey put on a lot more weight. Men that tall with too much weight seem to have a lot of knee, foot, and shin problems.

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 11 months ago

X can't defend? Isn't he 2nd in the league in steals?

slowplay 9 years, 11 months ago

"But, he really is one of the worst players we have. He cannot shoot, period. "... Somehow (and this is just a guess) I think HCBS is a little more qualified to judge the talent on his team. Henry will be alright. While in his shooting slump he has been concentrating on becoming a better defender, passer and rebounder. While in his slump HCBS has reduced his minutes, which is good in the long run as both Markief and Taylor are seeing an increase in PT. To call him one of the worst players on this team is just blatant ignorance.

ParisHawk 9 years, 11 months ago

For all those who anticipate a "Hudy-ized" Withey next year :

Don't you remember the stories published here before the season about Withey and Hudy? He was being force-fed to gain weight and didn't gain much.

My point is that Hudy has already (or is it "all ready?") had one shot at resculpting Withey and the result was moderate. Let's not take it for granted that just anyone can put on 25 pounds of muscle in three months, even with the help of the Divine Miss H !

Hank Cross 9 years, 11 months ago

There are some unbelievably ignorant opinions on this board about X. Not a Div-1 player? Are you serious? You know who are not Div-1 players? Brady and Reed. If anyone is happy that they playing ahead of X, don't be singing the blues when they fail to make the Sweet 16. Or, if they make it farther, watch what Wall does to Brady.

IMO the reason X is struggling is that he is that he is afraid that if he makes a mistake, the next sound he will hear will be the buzzer of his sub coming in. Watch what happens. Self did the same thing to Releford last year.

Self can recruit like a fiend and his defense is great, but his flaw is that he wants to win by not losing. And before anyone chimes in about his record, what type of record should a team with 2 All-American candidates and at least 4 other NBA prospects have?

Rick Arnoldy 9 years, 11 months ago

While I agree that X may be worried he'll get pulled after a mistake, that's what happens when there's bench full of players talented enough to take your spot. That's not Coach's fault.

As to "win by not losing", KU currently has the 4th highest scoring average in the country. Hardly sounds conservative.

KUshowtime 9 years, 11 months ago

"A great college basketball team." You may have heard me say it and say it many times. And you may think it sounds unkind and trivializing. But it is not. And it happens to be true. There are no "great" teams in college basketball this season. And there is only one team that has a chance to reach "great team" status before the end of the season, and that team is Kansas. -Jay Billas ESPN

melrank 9 years, 11 months ago

Jaybate - I'm not sure I'm the guy for EJ. I've been in TT's camp all along so I'm glad you are his keeper. Understanding the importance of such an assignment, let me think on that one before I overcommit.

Last year, I felt like I was Sherron's keeper as he got pummelled mercilessly from many of our fair weathered brethren.

But, back to Withey. I was a little confused by Self's comments that Withey was valuable in games where the opponent had two bigs. Wow, there's been a lot of those games with two bigs and he's been glued to the bench. He played at Iowa St. and they aren't exactly loaded with quality post players. I'm not sure who was the 2nd post guy for Nebraska yesterday after Diaz.

It seems that his play is much more predicated on necessity than match-ups.

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 11 months ago

oxcaljayhawk, Are you new to these boards? The comments on kusports.com rarely offer anything but ignorant opinions. Most of the people on these boards just like to read their own writing. I usually come to the boards to laugh at their pomposity.

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 11 months ago

P.S By the way oxcaljayhawk. Your opinions of Bill Selfs coaching "flaw" earns you a spot on my pomposity list.

bradynsdad 9 years, 11 months ago

i think the one thing that stands out in this article is witheys comment that self is a basketball genius. more people need to understand that. that is why he is the head coach of ku and we are just people posting comments.

Mike Kendall 9 years, 11 months ago

bradynsdad--- RE: Coach Self---"This is why he is the head coach of KU and we are just people posting comments."

That's why Oklahoma State tried to steal him away but Self didn't budge!

BoulderHawk---Do I earn a spot on your pomposity list? If not, I can take a sigh of relief.

Final Comment: I think the people that make comments on this board are not just people-----people with high basketball IQ! I do laugh a lot when I see some but in general, there are some really smart folks here.

Hank Cross 9 years, 11 months ago

The idea that Self is above any criticism here because we are only posters is absurd. By that logic, I hope no one who says so doesn't vote in the prez next election, b/c 'after all, he was elected, we're weren't, so he must know best.' Every coach, like every player has strengths and weaknesses. Self's weakness is an inordinate fear of mistakes. It's like he always wants to play the prevent defense. That's why weaker teams can hang around. Even UNC almost came back in the Nat'l Semi.

No one can deny the record this year. But, could anyone say that Turgeon wouldn't have this same record with this group? I can't think of 1 team they've beat this year that they weren't supposed to have beaten. Given, however, that NE at one point held the lead - In the second half - At Allen Fieldhouse, their ticket to the FF is by no means certain.

Steve Brown 9 years, 11 months ago

Last time in Austin we lost.

We had Mario, RussRob, Shady, DBlock, Shasha, + Cole & Sherron. and a hot hand BRush.

  1. limit turnovers
  2. tough defense
  3. crisp passing to find best shot
  4. hit high percent at the line
  5. be quick don't hurry
  6. have fun- relish the competition

jump ball, let's get it on:

Dirk Medema 9 years, 11 months ago

ParisHawk said - For all those who anticipate a "Hudy-ized" Withey next year, don't you remember the stories published here before the season about Withey and Hudy? He was being force-fed to gain weight and didn't gain much. My point is that Hudy has already (or is it "all ready?") had one shot at resculpting Withey and the result was moderate.

Good knowledge on the story. You say the results were moderate but not 25#'s. How much was it? I thought it was close to 25#; presently 225. Granted there may be more room to grow (240?), but I think Jeff made significant progress already. He was really thin coming out of HS/AU.

hawk316 9 years, 11 months ago

oxcaljayhawk, while I agree with your outrage concerning the suggestion that X is not a D-1 player, I must wholeheartedly disagree with your assessment that neither Brady nor Reed are D-1 quality. We must be watching different teams. I've been watching the KU men's team play all season. What team have you been watching? And though Coach Self is not perfect (who is?) and is certainly capable of making mistakes regarding personnel, I would bow to his expertise when it comes to making such decisions. As much playing time as Brady and Tyrel receive, apparently Coach thinks they are definitely D-1 quality.

bradynsdad 9 years, 11 months ago

mikendal it was not meant to attack intelligence but shed light on the fact that we dont see what goes on behind closed doors. i agree some comments are funny though. oxcaljayhawk that comparison is absurd. i agree every coach does have his strengths and weakness, and turgeon could have success with this team and probably a random juco coach could too because of the talent. the point is we all deal in percentages could a four year old girl predict who wins the superbowl and what the score will? yes but probably not nine chances out of ten. in the end you take the man with the best numbers. alot of people missed roy but look how he is doing after a national championship and look at how bill did.

kvskubball 9 years, 11 months ago

oxcal...

Could you post what your basketball credentials are? Are you a coach?

Have you played basketball at the High Major College level?

What exactly is your basketball claim to fame?

You criticize Self, and chide us for chiding you....

Coach Self isn't above criticism, but I'm not sure you have the basketball curriculum vitae to be the one to do the job. Unless you post it and let us analyze why you should be all qualified to criticize his decisions, with the certainty and vehemence that you do.

Coach makes mistakes, and he does dislike mistakes and often puts a high penalty on making them. That high bar, more times than not, probably makes players play better and set higher goals for themselves. Low standards and goals usually lead to low production.

When I read what you write, it sometimes seems to me that you look at the team as if all of them were fifth year seniors who have played together for five years, instead of a team that is younger than the national average (as calculated at KenPom.com). Our team is talented but many of the key players are freshmen and sophomores, and Coach has to try to get something out of them before they leave early, graduate, or otherwise depart. Why is it so hard for you to admit that he does a great job? Is it possible you could be wrong about Coach's outlook? Have you ever discussed it with him, so that you 'know' that what you postulate is correct? If not, I for one would enjoy it more if you could lighten-up on your 'knowing' what Coach is and isn't.

He's a winner. Are you?

Jack Wilson 9 years, 11 months ago

kvskuball: Great logic. Because oxcal isn't a D-1 coach, his opinion means nothing. That would disqualify all except about 330 men in this nation. Oxcal never said he isn't a great coach. Why don't you make a real argument. You're a cheerleader, the consumate yes man. Perhaps you can go wash Self's car.

Oxcal said "Self can recruit like a fiend and his defense is great, but his flaw is that he wants to win by not losing." There is nothing outrageous in that statement. It's not heresy, is it? I don't think anyone disagrees that Self is a great coach, maybe the best. And I doubt anyone disagrees that Self is playing it relatively conservatively with this team. Whether it is a flaw (or mistake) is a legitimate point of debate, and whether it is a fatal flaw is yet to be seen. But clearly Self sees it as the best path to success for this team

Jaybate: From the other thread, I was shocked to look here and see you accuse me of being fetishly obsessed with EJ's looks! Or something like that. I am going to have to reassess this whole thing. Maybe I have some weird thing going on here that I am subconsciously not aware of. Last times I felt like this was Alex Galindo and Mario (Chalmers) I think. Fetish? Wow. I'll have to sleep on it.

tstanlick1909 9 years, 11 months ago

Oxcal is right, I hate these close games. The 08 team saw to it that we stomped each teams will to live. That's the kind of play I like to see

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

melrank,

Re: Sherron--Last year we were both Sherron's internet keeper, though you may have been so busy with the duty that you did not notice me doing the same. :-)

Re: Self on Withey--Self believes Withey's size helps against two bigs, when they play post on the blocks, or not beyond the free throw line, because Withey reduces double teaming on Cole and Withey enables defensive switching with Cole. At the same time, Self is loath to put new bigs in positions where they have to chase extremely mobile bigs in offenses that force bigs into a lot of coverage choices and that take bigs far from the basket. Some of the teams we have played with two bigs have had mobile bigs in offenses that take them far from the basket. He doesn't think Withey has either the lungs, or the experience yet to play much chase defense. He also does not think Withey is ready to make the nearly constant choices about how far out to play a high post in a Princeton offense. Finally, he doubts Withey is ready to play a lot of switch off defense out on pick and roll and ball screen setups 25 feet from the basket on the wings, or at the top of the key. This is not a knock on Withey. Self did not think Kieff could handle that last year as a freshman. He did not think that Cole could handle it as a freshman. Recall, by late in the season, Self was okay with Cole hounding Hansbrough in a motion offense with two post men in a semifinal game, but he did not think Cole was ready to make all the decisions that Calipari's Princeton on Steroids offense required bigs to make in the final. That sort of sums it up for me.

jaybate 9 years, 11 months ago

HEM,

There's nothing wrong with aesthetic appreciation of players.

Just don't let it distract you from the performance numbers.

Rest easy. :-)

Hank Cross 9 years, 11 months ago

kvs- I've said repeatedly that there are some great things that Self does, and by definition that would make him a great coach. When the '08 team really got their half-court D going, I doubt that they had a peer in the history of college basketball. But again, like a Greek hero with a tragic flaw, I fear Self's make-one-mistake-and-you're-benched tactics will be the downfall of a team that has FF and Nat'l Championship talent. Whatever Huckleberry Roy's faults, most of the time his teams would blow away an outmanned regular season opponent. Why were UCLA and Belmont even in the game after the first 15 minutes?

Which is a story line that you hear more frequently - that a team won a championship by constantly pulling a rabbit out of its hat - or that a team lost a championship when it eventually ran out of luck?

kvskubball 9 years, 11 months ago

HighElite..

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, even you. :(

When someone keeps harping about a very successful person's supposed 'flaws', I think it is important to try to understand what level of knowledge the flaw-finder may have, in order to know whether to accept, ignore, or disagree with those comments.

Now, Coach Bobby Knight of Coach K, their opinions about basketball coaching, I would readily listen to, but I would still ask them to explain why they think a certain way, if I disagreed.

That is why I have kept after oxcal to explain himself instead of telling him to pi$$ off.

I've watched a lot of basketball, and played a little. I'm a fan of the game and think I'm pretty savvy about what I see and hear about the game, but I'm not an expert. You and Oxcal have made statements that seem to say that you are expert enough to pick the lint off of Coach's basketball knowledge, and proclaim it to be a mountain.

After the first two years under Coach Self, I might have made similar comments to you and Oxcal, but after having watched him and his teams win 5 consecutive Big 12 titles and a national title, I think Coach Self has earned some respect. Again, I'll agree he isn't perfect, but I will say that I think his flaws are pretty minor, or he would not have been able to get his teams to win as they have. Notice, to get players on board, it took a couple of years, and players that bought into his way of coaching. Since the players have bought-in, we've had a super ride.

So I just don't understand how someone (Oxcal and you) who most likely isn't a professional in the field of endeavor that is criticizing someone who is very successful in that field, thinks they have a leg to stand on, when that criticism is extra sharp and unabated. Some questioning would be appropriate, but to say his flaws are large, is laughable to me.

BTW Oxcal...a tragic flaw leads to undoing...how is Coach being undone? He seldom gets the very top recruits (mostly because he demands players to buy into doing it his way), but he is competitive - at the highest level - with those he does get.

And...X Henry has had anything but a short leash. Coach believes he brings enough to leave him in, even when he hasn't been on, until the last handful of games. He left him in for several games, despite mistakes that he would have benched almost anyone else for, after one of them. I could see a cry of inconsistency, between the way he has left X in and yanked say Tyshawn, EJ, and Withey after a single mistake. But not a cut about X fearing a short leash, unless X is hyper sensitive. In my mind, one cricism is valid, but not large - IMO, and the other isn't valid.

Yup just an old yes man all the way with Self...LOL - NOT.

I think I'm just wise enough to not be a blackbird sitting in a tree incessantly cawwing about what the eagle is doing wrong, starving on the leftovers from the 'flaws' of that high flying one.

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