Monday, January 10, 2011

UM: Jayhawks tough on ‘D’

Kansas forward Markieff Morris defends as Michigan guard Darius Morris redirects his pass during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011 at Crisler Arena.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris defends as Michigan guard Darius Morris redirects his pass during the first half on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2011 at Crisler Arena.


Highlights: KU vs. Michigan

The Jayhawks defeated Michigan in overtime, 67-60 on Sunday, Jan. 9, 2010 in Ann Arbor.

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Michigan coach John Beilein

Michigan coach John Beilein talks to reporters following his team's 67-60 overtime loss to Kansas on Jan. 9, 2011.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 67-60 overtime victory over Michigan on Jan. 9, 2011.

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— Michigan basketball coach John Beilein says there was more that went into Michigan’s poor offensive effort Sunday than simply bad shooting.

“Kansas is really known as being a good defensive team,” Beilein said after his team’s 67-60 loss to Kansas University, “and they played us really tough.”

Michigan especially struggled in the first half, posting a season-low 18 points on 6-for-23 shooting. The Wolverines also had nine first-half turnovers, with Beilein commenting that KU’s players were “blowing up” Michigan’s plays with their defensive pressure.

“They guarded the heck out of us in the first half, and we did not get many clean looks,” Beilein said. “They’re so long and athletic — that challenges us right now.”

Overall, UM went just 4-for-28 from three-point range (14.3 percent) — its worst three-point shooting percentage in a game since the 2006-07 season.

The Wolverines’ top long-range shooters — Stu Douglass, Evan Smotrycz and Matt Vogrich — went a combined 0-for-7 from three.

“I’m going to be beating myself up until the Ohio State game (Wednesday),” said Douglass, who went 0-for-5 from three after entering as a 42.2 percent three-point shooter. “I know I shouldn’t be. But if one or two of those drop, it’s a different game.”

KU also forced 15 Michigan turnovers, which was above the Wolverines’ season average (11.3).

“We’re not going to play better defensive teams than that,” Beilein said.

Defensively, Michigan had success by switching to a 1-3-1 zone in the second half.

The Wolverines hadn’t had much luck this season with the zone until Sunday, but Beilein said he wanted to try it after it bothered the Jayhawks in last year’s 75-64 KU victory.

“We did want to change defenses on them over and over again, just because of their sheer talent,” Beilein said. “You’ve got to keep giving them different looks.

“I think that while their guard play is really solid, you really test your guards’ play when you do have those angles they have to read all the time.”

Beilein said he felt good about his team’s chances after taking a three-point lead in overtime.

“I really thought that I wouldn’t be standing here in this situation,” Beilein said. “We played well enough to hang in there on defense. Just their defense is difficult. They’re really long. There’s a reason why they’re such a good team.”


jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

"UM Forensics"

~Except for awful shooting by both teams, it was a typical Okie Ball vs. Princeton game. Beilein chose to eliminate entirely KU's transition game with the stretch, 1-3-1 match'n'trap zone on one end and the Princeton offense on the other. Beilein just said, "Sorry, KU, you don't get to beat us with athleticism. You're going to have to grind it out and chase to beat us."

~Self, sticking to 70 point take what they give us Okie Ball, said, "FIne, you are giving us the baselines, so we'll play through Marcus and Kieff down there and we'll trifectate between the point and wing, and from the corner." In essence, Self said, "we'll shoot the low percentage shots you are giving us, because we are better shooters, and because Marcus can be the difference on the baseline." As usual, Self was right. This strategy, though frustrating to fans of transition ball, always looks ugly, but always gets the W against Princetons with less talent.

~With even 30 percent shooting from trey, it would have been a blow out win for KU.

~With even a 20 percent day from trey, it would have been a close win for UM.

~Hey, that's what Princeton ball is all about. Keep it close. Hope the opponent with more talent has an off shooting night, play for a late shot to win. It almost worked, as Pete Carril drew it up.

~What Self did not count on was 16% trey shooting, and another 1-10 turkey by Selby. Only one, or the other, and its a regulation win for KU. With both, all bets were off, emergent complexity rushed in, chaos took it into over time, the last thing a Princeton offense wants, and KU's greater talent finally got a chance to tip the scales.

~Selby has now plotted a second way low data point that combines with his way high data points to indicate he a scorching hot, freezing cold kind of a shooter. S-T-R-E-A-K-Y. As Self said when Selby joined the playing rotation, "He's a guy who can really juice it." We know know that that he meant exactly what he said. Selby "can" really juice it, but when he can't, nothing much squirts out.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Good points. I suspect the reason was that Self wanted to force his starting five to labor for this win without any strategic help, with as little help from the bench as possible. He wanted them to prove to themselves that they as a unit could get a win without any tricks, just by grinding it out. The bad shooting turned it into a close, ugly game anyway. Self probably never thought the game would be that close, but he was determined to forge his starting five, even if it took a loss to do it.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 3 months ago

I've been watching MI for years. Novak has incredible range (although he was off yesterday). We saw that 5 feet past the line 3 that he made in OT. I think that's why a zone doesn't work yesterday.

Mike Bratisax 7 years, 3 months ago

I'm not disagreeing but with just a little discipline, I thought we could have thrown over the top into the paint because of our height advantage. The 1-3-1 is vulnerable to the high-low offense we used to play so well.

I would have thought TRob would dominate against a team like Michigan but that obviously was not the case.

Instead, we relied on the 3 which was not a sound idea. I wonder what might have been if Selby's first shot would have gone in instead of doing everything but...

Enjoyed your post J.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Thx. And I bet your idea of going over the top is under consideration as one of several ways for Tyshawn to solve the zone.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

~Selby is a freshman. He's up and down. He clearly had never dealt with the ugliness of the Princeton before. He muddled through. He got 4 assists and played some good defense. If he wants to get consistent, he'll probably have to stay another year. But its okay, because he's a terrific streaky player. Some one noted Sherron also had bad games. Exactly. Sherron was a little streaky. Selby is waaaaaaaaaaaaay streaky. ralster noted he just needs the minutes to get over being streaky. Rarely disagree with ralster, but this time I must. Streaky guys don't need minutes to get less streaky. Only a couple of seasons of hard work and maturity reduces the lows of streaky players. They need big minutes now to learn how to do other things to compensate for when they are in bad streaks. Selby learned tonight how to play a floor game against a Princeton team. At first he had no clue how to deal with what UM was doing to him and to KU. But he started to get it late in the game. He got 4 assists and couple of boards playing 35 second chase. He coughed 3 TO fur balls; that won't do against the Princeton in the future. He'll learn playing Princeton is foremost a protection racket. He was way less bad than most freshmen on their first tastes of the Princeton system, and Beilein has UM playing it much better and smarter than that joke at Colorado and now Wake Forest. Beilein is a rmasterful old coach, who happens to be using the Princeton. The Wake Forest guy is just doing what his mentor told him still.

~Selby played a solid floor game, which indicates we can live with him on his off nights, while we give Brady 15-18 minutes to let him enable the inside game and drive the baseline and pass to the corner to Tyrel for 3s.

~Brady was subbed quickly, because he is the right guy to play 35-second chase at the frequency of Quaker State sloshing in an oil pan.

~Brady got his 18, because he came out of his slump and was the right guy for the slower tempo.

~Brady would have gotten 20-22 today, if Brady had not done the knock down pick aka an XTReme Cheap Shot on Tim Hardaway 2.0.

~A pattern is emerging with Self's version of XTReme Cheap Shotting. You do the cheap shot, as planned, and then Self acts all indignant and pulls you out to minimize the blow back from the refs. Did it with Marcus in the elbow incident. Did it with Kieff in the last game. Did it with Brady v. UM. This tells me his heart is really not in this; that he's still feeling way too Protestant about it. XTREme Cheap Shotting is going to have to go like the adoption of the hack'n'slap. He as to be bold about it, the same way Coach Consonants is.

Sam Constance 7 years, 3 months ago

Agree on Selby's defense 110%. Everyone is going to wonder about his shooting and "what's wrong" with the freshman, but I choose to look at it from a different angle.

Selby's defense was very impressive, all by itself, with no context needed. He was aggressive, smart and moved his feet extremely well to stay in front of his man.

But equally impressive is the fact that he's got a reputation as a scorer, but didn't let a terrible night from the field lull him into lazy defensive effort, as is oft to happen with young playmakers.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

~Coach Consonants apparently plays the paradox therapy game with the refs on XTReme Cheap Shotting. He works them hard before the games and hard during the games about the other team making dirty plays, then, boom! he appears to have one of his player do an unforgiveable cheap shot. The refs look paradoxed even on TV, like clients and patients do when a professional paradoxes them. They refs appear actually to blink. And unable to think about the two extreme opposites, they move on to relieve the dissonance. It works every time. I've used it. And it works again and again and again even in close sequence. The only way for the client patient to avoid being paradoxed is to go in aware and refusing to bite on the reality of the set up. Once they bite on the set-up, the follow up paradoxes them whether they know its happening, or not.

~Self still feels self conscious about doing paradox therapy on the refs, and hates the XTReme Cheap Shotting, too. The way he is trying to mask what he is doing (and masking is one of his strengths in most things), when you don't need to mask it at all, indicates to me that his conscience may get the better of him and KU may give up XTReme Cheap Shotting before too long. While a morally respectable choice, it will sooner or later be strategic suicide. To beat cheap shotting, you either have to do it back as a countervailing force, or you have to come up with something better. I don't believe there is something better. I believe that until you can get the refs to eliminate XTREme Cheap Shotting from the game, you have to do it, or see your players badly hurt, lose the game, or both.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

~Brady's slump looked over today, but again, it was the Princeton and the Princeton always makes the experienced guys look good in comparison to young ones who just wanna have fun in transition (anyone remember girls just wanna have fun?). But to say his slump is over, we have to see him play well in a fast paced game, too.

~A Selby/Brady committee will be a team strong suit, especially if Travis, or Little can be brought in for the not infrequent big 3s.

~Marcus played an anchorman's game. Considering how ugly it was out there, he played exceptionally well and except for not getting a strip, had a near perfect floor game. Maybe he should have gotten some blocks, too, but Beilein probably routed the shooting away from him. And he was just getting butchered out there and did not let it distract him from doing his job, as he has for several games.

~Self playing five starters an average of 35-38 mpg vs. UM signals may also signal an interesting twist on the likely Saturday-Monday use of the two-unit strategy. There is a game two days after UM, so it seems a test case for the Saturday-Monday strategy. Self plans to play the starters as many minutes as it takes to win the first game, and then come early and often with the subs the second game. This is the reverse of last season, where he tended to rest players the first game, so they would be strong for the second game. It will be interesting to see how well it works. It puts a huge amount of faith in the reserves ability to deliver the second game. Self seems to be not only thinking outside the box this year, he seems to be pitching his tent outside it.

~TRob looked awful not because of his loss of a grammy, but because the Princeton, the real Princeton played the way Beilein has them playing it, exposes all of TRob's weaknesses. He's not good at chasing still and he's not good at making lots and lots of choices, as that offense forces defenders to make. He will look much better against the next conventional offense KU meets. Even so, he could have played more and been reasonably effective.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

~Tyshawn played another brilliant defensive game, but his ball handling showed cracks against Beilein's zone which was used in part precisely to expose those cracks. Tyshawn will learn how to handle that zone in a practice, as 100 said. Tyshawn was a fine player today. On a day when Selby cannot dazzle with his scoring, you can see starkly just how much better of a floor game Tyshawn has. On defense, he is two full years ahead of Selby, even though Selby is a good solid defender for a freshman. Selby defensively is about what Tyshwan was as a freshman. Tyshawn is just an awesome defensive PG.

~EJ didn't look very good for the same reason as TRob, but looking ugly against the Princeton does not mean he would have been unable to get the job done if needed. He didn't play much for reasons I describe at the end.

~Tyrel? Solid floor game, but he's a senior and we need him to shoot us out of those kinds of situations, not be one of the guys who shoots us into them. Clearly, Beilein had studied Tyrel closely and IDed which parts of floor to take from him. He succeeded. Tyrel can't let that happen. He needs to shoot a lot of j's out of the deep corner, because he's going to start seeing that spot being the one allowed him more and more.

~ Withey? Little was more likely to be let on the floor than Withey against that rough of a Princeton.

Mike Bratisax 7 years, 3 months ago

"Withey? Little was more likely to be let on the floor than Withey against that rough of a Princeton"

Why? This goes back to my earlier comment that we did not take advantage to our height?

They had no one to match-up against Withey, it seemed this would have been a great opportunity to use him.

Are our guards unable to throw over the top when we clearly have more height?

With the 1-3-1, you either beat it w/the 3 or down low with the high low game.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

~Closing Point 1 to remember about this game: Self once again let his team labor for this victory. Self didn't give them one single edge in the game. He didn't let them go double team the ball before the ball screen showed up. He didn't let them use the 1-2-2 zone press, or any press really, to disrupt the Princeton scheme of Beilein's. He didn't let them switch in and out of zones. Self said, "Nope, I'm going to make you guys earn another one on your own, before conference starts and I start helping you again." Clearly Self played his staring five so much not because the subs couldn't have stayed on the floor and contributed, but rather to force the starting five to start thinking of themselves that way. Basically, he was telling his starting five, "If you are my starting five, then go prove you can win one on your own, without me, and even without your second unit. Just go out and play nearly 40 minutes and show me you have what it takes." They did. Barely.

Closing Point 2 to Remember about this Game: Board rats who say Self should have been willing to take a loss today and should have played all the subs have not recognized what I described as Self's purpose today. Self was completely willing to lose this game. He did not play his starters almost 40 minutes, deny them any wrinkles, and any strategic help, because he didn't think the subs could handle it. They could have, though KU almost certainly would have lost playing them, because of the awful shooting. Again, the goal was to make the starting five win one entirely on their own, and he was willing to take a loss in that pursuit. He got lucky and didn't have to. His first five is now going to have much more confidence in themselves than previously. They are going to view them Self as KU's real first team.

~Closing Point 3: I suspect we will see a return to the two-unit strategy for most conference games during the Saturday Monday phase coming soon, and in the conference tourney and Madness, where games are separated by a single day.

~Closing Point 4: Don't go to pieces worrying Self doesn't trust the subs. He does. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Self put the subs under the gun to win one in Ames now. Some of it will depend on what kind of game ISU plays, but if ISU is playing at all conventionally, the subs may get the next test of nut size.

Closing Point 5: The reason to bring Little back is what happened to Travis today. Injuries happen.

Rock Chalk!

AsadZ 7 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate,Great analysis. You have great command on your writing and your writing skill is solid.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 3 months ago

Hey, it's a full-court press by Jaybate!

It is nice to receive complements from the opposing coach. I thought our defense most of the first half was an "A+." We still, have not put together a full 40 minutes of good basketball. When that happens, it will be beautiful.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago


I must insist you wait for your scheduled iDiscipline from your Masterjaybate until the appointment later this week. Routine for slave aliases is crucial. :-)

yates33333 7 years, 3 months ago

I thought the refereeing got progressively worse as the game went on. MU players straight out shoved Marcus in front of a ref and nothing was called. I know Big 10 basketball isn't for the weak and clinging but that game was ridiculous. I guess if you are pretty sure you will get beat without fouling you might as well foul. I hope the Big 10 doesn't share these refs with the Big 12 as used to be the case.

KU's defense was A+++ in the first half and pretty darn good in the second. Clark Kellogg is knowledgeable about basketball and had some good comments. Vern Lunkhead hasn't learned anything in 40 years of broadcasting. He still views the game from his Texas Lutheran University experience. The media fires Ron Franklin and keep Lunkhead. Think about it. You think CBS pays his food bill while on the road?

I suspect KU is going to face slow downed offenses and zones during the Big 12 season. Let's hope they have their shooting caps back on.

Hey, Jaybate. Why don't you apply for a job as BB announcer on CBS?

Steve Corder 7 years, 3 months ago

I agree about the refs. The players kept their cool Sunday. Well done. Self's message of control was evident.

KU is very talented and still very much a work in progress, but the game looks much different from the TV camera, looking down from the stands at mid court, than from the floor. The Hawks are lightning quick, when they want to be.

Vern Lunquist must be ill; that is not the face of a man who eats too much. He's never been that puffy faced his entire life until recently. Ron Franklin is a much better announcer for BB. Vern is best on the PGA circuit.

Taylor is a better than Selby driving to the basket, but I must remind myself that Selby has only played FIVE games as a freshman. It remains to be seen how much Selby develops through the Big12 season. This is a special team.

Heck of a start, 15-0! Outstanding team, great coaching. Enjoy what we have. Very, very few schools have what we've got in baskletball!

Proud to be a Hawk fan.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Now, go to the other end. He has to judge offensive teams that are more tired than usual from guarding the Princeton, and so more prone to mistakes. He has to judge offensive teams laboring against zones, and so generally out of their comfort zone and rhythm, so making more mistakes and different kinds of charging situations.

A ref taken out of his comfort zone, i.e., what he is most used to, makes it harder for him to perform, just as it does the opponent of the Princeton.

He is less winded, because of the slower pace, but that is probably off set by the stress of increased concentration required by the constant expanding and contracting of player spacing and constant movement of players all over the floor frequently outside of their customary regions.

Wider half court focus is required.

More scripted picking events to judge each possession.

Awkward bigs being force to chase.

Long spans of intense concentration required.

Less refreshment by running with the flow of the transition game, before settling into having to watch everything like a hawk in the half court.

Sometimes, against the Princeton, I think refs just fatique mentally and lose concentration as the game wears on.

More variance in calls results.

More variance in calls leads to more ragged play.

More ragged play snowballs how much has to be judged.

More judgements when you are already mentally fatigued snowballs into more bad calls and more player frustration.

And so on.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago


Too ugly! No, wait, they have Clark! He's no beauty queen. :-)

Totally agree with you on KU defense.

Regarding the refereeing: Two drivers I suggest are:

a) the game running on and referees having to swallow whistes to make the game fit the broadcast window; and

b) referees probably get as annoyed and overtaxed by 35 second concentration spans as opponents of the Princeton do.

A I have talked about at length before. B is something that just occurred to me. Refs really have concentrate hard in the half court, because there is so things going on regardless of the style of play. But the Princeton really taxes a ref's attention span. A ref is used to concentrating in the half court for about 10-15 seconds at a time most possessions in most games. Against the Princeton he has to concentrate 25-35 seconds a possession. And relative to the Princeton, he is used to seeing much less screening (each of which is contact that must be judged), much fewer long cuts (where there is more chasing and bumping going on; and much less big men moving outside the paint (meaning he has to judge a lot more big man contact beyond the paint).

The Princeton forces a ref to work much harder. He has to judge action he too is less used to seeing; that is stressful. He has to judge big man contact beyond the paint that he is not used to; that is stressful. He has to. He has to judge more screens and more bumping on longer cuts; that is stressful. And he has to deal with lots more frustrated defensive players on the non Princeton team; that is stressful.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago


Its not time for your iBeating yet. You are scheduled for later in the week. I'm sorry, but you'll have to wait. :-)

didjabuti 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't follow the refs enough to remember who makes what call, but I do know that one of the Big 12 refs from this game also officiated the Cal game. I don't know what impact he personally had on any particular plays in either game. I'm just saying. We may have already seen how games are going to be called during the conference.

ancient_hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

Announcers, as a rule, aren't supposed to be QUITE as opinionated as Jaybate. ;^)

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

ancienne, mois, opinionated? :-)

I will plead the fifth.

AsadZ 7 years, 3 months ago

I welcome him all the time. I read and enjoy his posts.

lincase 7 years, 3 months ago

Response point 1: Coach Consonants is a great nickname, Jaybate. I'll try to remember it. Response point 2: Whether you use the "good" team in the first or second game of a close two game stretch might depend on the teams you are playing. Response point 3: I believe you might have been a student of mine. He never used one word when ten would do the job. You are the Princeton offense of posters, but I do enjoy your posts if I can persevere.

jayhawktalk 7 years, 3 months ago

Pt 3: "I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time." ~Blaise Pascal

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

I've always wanted to rechristen myself pascalbate, but never find the time.

Mike Bratisax 7 years, 3 months ago

I'll 'wager' Mark Twain stated something similar...

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

I am everyone's student, so as "n" approaches infinity, anything is possible. :-)

And while I have had my share of great teachers and mentors, I have also had to endure more than a few intellectually limited teachers, ones that were all too willing to sacrifice clarity of nuance for the clarity of reduction, often without even being aware of having done so. :-)

What I have found over the years is that those that are eager to learn and understand as fully as is reasonable to do under resource constraints and appreciate not only the clarity and purity of principles, mechanics, diagnostics and analytics stated as elegantly as one can, but also recognize the need and utility of nuance.

The world truly is a spectrum ranging from simple phenomena to complex phenomena. It really does involve progression from initial conditions through ordered realms and through chaotic realms (often with hidden strange tendencies) that evidence emergent complexity. There is no harm in modeling that in one's writing from time to time, just as there is no harm in resorting to simplicities when fitting. I like heuristics, too, when they work, just as much as rigorously verified theories, when they work. I even like a good, free-standing vulgate every now and then. :-)

But in the Age of Twitter, it is nuance that is being lost, or at least telescoped down into reductive tribal code, so perhaps I seem more verbose to some, than I truly am, because of relativity.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Flaubert said something like: if I use the word blue, you can be absolutely sure that that word exactly describes the color. Flaubert was often tagged with being verbose and too nuanced, when what he was doing was just focusing rather more closely on situations with a lot of nuance than many persons enjoy.

Madame Bovary can, afterall, be reduced to: Emma cheated and blew money.

We can get along without nuance, and without play, and without Madame Bovary (or Madame Ovary as I will always affectionately think of her), but why would anyone want to.

However many words I use, and which ever words I use, I do so to achieve useful levels of clariity and nuance about whatever it is I am exploring.

As I am not playing for pay, I write fast, don't edit, and enjoy the sponteneity that enables. I believe most readers realize that, and forgive me my descents into the slipshod, and the expressions that might have been expressed more elegantly. I know I forgive others here for doing the same.

I also never crab at persons for going short. There is nothing morally, or technically, or environmentally wrong, with going short or long.

Content should determine such considerations as length.

I try to write so a person, any person, can skim for essence, or read it all for nuance...most of the time. Sometimes I am just experimenting completely with content, form, or both. It is fun. Sometimes some others think so, too.

Some also object to my allusions, especially to my using them. Tough. They are a path of communication. A work out and some communication about the game I love are why I am here. Some allusions come in my gym bag. I use them. I am careful never to make everything hang on them. Think of them sometimes as playful, yet functional ornament on a Michael Graves tea kettle, or sometimes as essential to nuanced meaning, as in T. S. Eliot's Wasteland.

Some also object to my use of repetition.

To paraphrase: gotttdammmit, jaybate, if you can't say it right once briefly, why say it at all?

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

If I repeat, it is because, when I use many words to be very exact about nuance, it helps a reader to hear it twice, sometimes even three times spread out. Hell, it helps me, too! I am always in the same boat with the reader, just not every reader.

The only time repetition is a vice in writing is when it is unecessary; that is, when what is being communicated is so clear and brief that once is enough.

Not all good thinking is clear and brief. Some is, but not all. Some is nuanced. And some is both.

Einstein wrote that e = mc^2. It was brilliantly simple and clear, especially after you got what it was short hand for. But people forget that it is part of a, shall we say, slightly more nuanced formal expression of physics in that constituted the full scope of his theory. Most persons that know e = mc^2 have never looked at the rest of the theory and equations. Heck, there are probably some physicists that haven't, if they were fully honest. I spoke to one physicist once about to move to work at the CERN super collider. I asked the wonderfully naive question: "What part of Einstein's theories will you use there?" He chuckled about Einstein and said, "Well, if you want to know the truth, we hardly ever 'use' Einstein's theories for anything in physics. Mostly we still use Newtonian physics to actually figure out how do to things we want to do. And a bit of quantum mechanics. Einstein is our picture of the universe. It is a very important picture. But in most work it is not all that useful. Some scientists make small careers out of testing aspects of the picture to see if it is accurate and because he was a good thinker, well, it usually is pretty accurate. But as a working physicist trying to figure out how things work, or make things work here on earth? I can't think of the last time I used anything of Einstein's. I don't build bombs. And I don't time travel, so I don't have to figure out if I will be older, or younger, after I fly faster than the speed of light. I don't believe, or disbelieve in god, so I don't care if he does, or doesn't play dice with the universe."

That guy made me love physicists, but I digress.

If I think someone is a dufus, or bright, or correct, or that an idea has an obvious flaw, that requires no nuance to express, you will find that I can get to the point, as quickly as one entangled particle changes another in a way Einstein doubted one could, but as has been empirically verified to have CERN, coincidentally.

Wisdom is knowing when to do one, or the other--go long, or short, be simple, or nuanced,

Work is doing one or the other elegantly.

Fun is simply playing with words, and the thoughts they at times enable, and at other time simply communicate, all the while learning from others.

I do try to engage in some of all three here.

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

"'Brief' Post Script for lincase:"

That student that you were talking about, the one that would never use one word, if ten would do...

What if in the ten were the truth, obscured by the one?

You are a swell, as Hem's gen used to say, and you may always be my il miglior fabbro, or whatever Eliot said of Pound at the beginning of The Waste...Land

Shanti, Shanti, Rock Chalk!

Thomas Michaud 7 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate, Maybe I overlooked it in your post somewhere, but why didn't Beilein play a zone in the OT? Was it to show a "different defense" than what they'd just played (and beat the Jayhawks) with? Did he think that Self was prepping his team prior to the OT for the zone? Beilein's decision to not keep with the zone was the most puzzling to me.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Great question!

I wonder that, too.

My best guess is that it had to do with how scoring unfolded in the OT.

Playing zone when you get behind is very risky in 5 minute OT, because you are enabling the other team to use all of the clock on you.

Beilein probably planned to go zone as soon as he got a lead, but he never got one, so he kept in m2m to force more action sooner by KU--to get the ball back sooner.

But I suspect Beilein and his coaches will discuss the answer to your question at length.

Just between us board rats, I would have been very tempted to have stayed in the zone, up to 3 points down, because KU seemed never to handle it.

kkoenig 7 years, 3 months ago

actually Michigan did have the lead in overtime. They hit a three-point shot to lead 54-51 and it took two KU possessions to erase it.

Thomas Michaud 7 years, 3 months ago

Like kkoenig pointed out, they got up by 3 quickly with the 3-pointer. In a viewing of the highlights, it looked as though they were in the 1-3-1, but not playing it as effectively (almost like their energy was spent by the overtime). I know that the tv commentators wondered why Michigan wasn't still in the zone on KU's first possession (after they tip) ... maybe they felt they were successful with the switch on that play; but it looked more like some of Michigan's defenders looked a bit worn.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Then I'm stumped for sure.

I didn't recall UM jumping ahead, but I trust both of youz guyz.

Maybe Beilein was too clever by half and played m2m, because he was sure Self and KU would be expecting zone and be thrown by the unexpected? If so, it doesn't seem a very smart least with 20/20 hindsight.

Or maybe the fatigue issue that you mention drove his decision. I know 100 always says that it takes more energy to play zone than man, even though I always felt just the opposite when I played.

Let me think a second more...

Well, maybe Beilein thought about it and decided that Marcus had hurt UM the most the whole game. He was the only guy that really got untracked on KU in regulation. And he was scoring on the baseline, which is the weak spot of the 1-3-1. Maybe Beilein thought: KU hasn't been able to hit the broad side of a barn outside and wouldn't even be in the game were it not for Marcus exploiting us on the baseline. Go man, sag in, and take the baseline away from Marcus.

Geez, this is turning into work! :-)

Your turns to shoot holes in it.

truefan 7 years, 3 months ago

No reason to hit the panic button yet, but we had some really suspect play last night. Selby having an off night had little to do with the struggle for the victory. We didn't play through our bigs at all and our guards were running the ball up the court with 5 minutes left in the game and a 9 point lead. Had they slowed it down and taken 35 seconds off the clock for 3 possessions we would have ended it in regulation with a 10+ point victory. Instead, 3 quick possessions with 3 turnovers resulting in 6 points left us with a small lead and plenty of time left to piss it away.

I'm not sure what they were doing out there or why Self wasn't stopping it, but it needs to be fixed before we run into some real competition in the Big XII. Iowa State is decent this season and we alwasy struggle in Ames. If we don't work on the 1-3-1 zone we'll have many more of these frustrating games and potentially a few losses that shouldn't have been.

leonard 7 years, 3 months ago

"Self credited freshman guard Tyshawn Taylor, who is starting to emerge from the pack of Baby Jayhawks as Voted-Most-Likely-to-Become-KU's-Lockdown-Defender...

I'm still not convinced he's a lockdown defender,” Self said of Taylor, smiling, “but he's moving in that direction. I see a guy that's 6-3, he's long, he can slide, he's quick as a cat, he's got good hands. There's no reason why, if he learns positioning and has toughness, that he can't be a good defender." ----Bill Self, Dec 2, 2008

"He's a good player that hasn't played as good as he's capable of playing...he needs to be a lockdown defender for us. He'll get it. He's had a little bit of a sophomore funk, so to speak." ----- Bill Self, Jan 23, 2010

Well, here we are...half way through Taylor's junior season and we're still waiting on that consistent lockdown defense from him. Much like Self's earlier admission this year that we'll just have to put up with Taylor's inconsistent ball handling skills...I'm resigned to the fact that he's not going to fulfill his promise as a lockdown defender on the perimeter.

Sure, he'll have some great defensive moments during the course of a game but after watching him for 2 1/2 seasons...short of some grand epiphany on Taylor's part...I am not counting on consistently great defensive efforts from him.

Is he vital to the success of this years team? Damn skippy.

Am I glad he's a part of this year's team? Another damn skippy.

I can live with the bursts of excellence between those other lost moments.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 3 months ago

The funny thing is if KU won a shootout, even if it was in OT, say 95-91, we'd all be saying good game, let's tighten up the D a little bit. But when the opposite happens it appears as if we're stinking up the joint and everyone starts ragging on the coach, on Brady, on Withey, on Tyshawn, on the Twins, etc. etc. Defense is ugly but it wins games. Michigan knew that and also knew they couldn't run with us.

Our lowest scoring games this year? UCLA 77 Close Colorado St. 76 Not close USC 70 Close UM 52 not counting OT Very close

The tapes of these games should be used as a primer "How to beat KU"

ancient_hawk 7 years, 3 months ago

With the exception of a couple of teams, which we won't (hopefully) see until the Dance, anybody who doesn't "pack it in" against us is craaaazy.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 3 months ago

Wow, what was it? My brilliant analysis? My brevity? My lack of calling someone an "idot"? That I didn't whine about Dick Vitale or Brady Morningstar?
BTW, are you the curator of the HOF? I know you're (notice proper usage of you're) in it.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago


I nominate posts for the Posting Hall of Fame here, when they reveal a fresh perspective, especially something we ought to have know but were all overlooking, and when they are perfectly on target. Style matters only in the sense that the how ever the post is worded states it as elegantly as could reasonably be done by we mere mortals. To wit:

"The funny thing is if KU won a shootout, even if it was in OT, say 95-91, we'd all be saying good game, let's tighten up the D a little bit. But when the opposite happens it appears as if we're stinking up the joint and everyone starts ragging on the coach, on Brady, on Withey, on Tyshawn, on the Twins, etc. etc."--wissoxfan83

This exposes a blind spot in all of us--a bias toward offense and away from defense, when both are equally important.

The simple game everyone talks about has two activities:

a) scoring;

b) stopping scoring.

A 1 to 0 win is as virtuous as a 100-99 win, until someone changes the rules and disallows defense.

One sees it in the writing about the game by the pros and by amateurs. Few persons really see the balletic beauty in defense that they see in offense, but it is there if persons will only look.

As wonderful as it is to watch Josh Selby score, as exceptional as he is at scoring (when on a streak), Tyshawn Taylor is the great artist at work on this team. His defense is literally an act of beauty. At times, the last five games my jaw has dropped open at how gracefully he defends even the most aggressive offenders, about how huge his help range is, about how gracefully and fluidly he recovers when some one goes by him.

Watching Tyshawn Taylor play point defense is at times like watching leopard stalk its prey. He is practically playing with some defenders, before he cuts them off. And I don't mean he is taunting them. But have you ever watched a cat cut of the escape of a mouse? Taylor plays defense in an eerily similar way.

Steve Gantz 7 years, 3 months ago

I don't like cats so I never watch them :)

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 3 months ago

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty-----want to play some basketbaaaa at AFH? Not!

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

At the same time, Tyshawn regularly moves so beautifully on defense that it is as good as watching a Barishnykov.

And yet despite this defensive virtuosity on display almost routinely every game now, people harp endlessly about his TOs, or his ball handling problems, or his limited scoring.

I'm guilty of it too sometimes.

Frankly, Self was probably one of the few persons that knew enough about defense to understand just how brilliant Tyshawn could be at defense.

I remember when I first saw Tyshawn, all I could think about was how silky smooth and lightening fast he was driving to the rim. He was of course, but looking back I did not appreciate how good his defense was from the beginning. And then last year he was in such a funk that he could not concentrate well enough to do anything to the best of his ability.

Now, it is like he came out of a chrysalis and is this beautiful, defensive butterfly.

And yet almost no one remarks on this.

And this is not limited to Tyshawn. Marcus is doing great things defensively almost all the time, but he is so smooth and understated that it goes right by me, unless I really focus in and watch what he is doing.

People are also overlooking that Selby's defense is quite good for a freshman and that he, too, has his own defensive style. He is like watching Riki Tiki Tavi, a mongoose, or maybe a wolverine, or a badger go after defenders. He practically snarls and bristles on defense. Of course, Self has to get him on the floor even on a 1-10 night.

There is an old Native American saying, the Sioux maybe--an old warrior who is besieged by all sorts of problems, all sorts of fighting, who has fooled himself in all sorts of ways, but who has kept struggling onward, yet finally confronts his own mortality and humanity and fearful smallness in the world. He knows the horror and death all around him now, but suddenly he finds himself looking and seeing with a painful clarity he has never know before and as he walks he says, "Beauty ahead of me, beauty to the side of me, beauty behind me." It is like all of his life's torments have some how stripped away his blinders and while he wishes he were safe and sound, and not so scared and not so in danger, he cannot help but see all the beauty around him coming through now entirely unfiltered and it is breaktaking and humbling and inspiring. It is what some western poets have called "the terrible beauty" of life.

When I watch Tyshawn sometimes this season, I find myself saying to myself, "Defensive beauty in front of me, defensive beauty to the side of me, defensive beauty behind me."

Your perhaps inconsequential remark to you struck a deep chord in me, about how foolish we all are in what obvious goodness, excellence and beauty we persist in overlooking in life at times.

Rock Chalk!

Steve Kubler 7 years, 3 months ago

Finally!! I was beginning to worry about you as in your first two posts you did not manage to slam Brady even once! Could it be because he had a decent game?

As to the game; I was much more worried then most about this one. I felt MI had the kind of team to cause a problem. They did, and as Jaybate pointed out Self used aqndabused his starting five to teach them how to handle what they will probably be seeing a lot of.

I hope my throat heals up before Weds!

Jack Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

A few takes from the game, 24 or so hours later. 1. NCAA basketball on the road is tough. Really, a win is a win. 2. Coach Self's teams over the past two seasons have failed to step on the throat of opponents that were down. 3. Last season, many, including myself, saw this as a forecast of things to come. 4. The Michigan game was the UNI game. That is how we lose to UNI. 5. Stepping on a team's throat by a basketball team is more difficult to coach than in football, for example, where a coach has more control over plays, schemes, etc. 6. Stepping on a team's throat is coachable in basketball. It is a mentality in basketball that is borne through coaching style, practice approach, mentality-building, in-game demeanor, and in-game management. 7. When you coach conservatively in football, it is very difficult to step on a team's throat. 8. It is more obvious in football than in basketball, when a team is playing conservatively. 9. In basketball, a few tell-tale signs to look for are hesitancy on the offensive end, refusal to take open shots, hesitancy to create, refusal to take risks, change in rotations, refusal to push the ball up the court .. because of the understanding of what the coach wants. The aforementioned result in many times poorer shots than would otherwise be taken, lost opoortunities, and an equalization of talent because of a hesitancy to do what makes us better than the opponent. But another big sign is a team that when the other team catches up, then puts the team away because they go back (either mentally or in actuality) to playing their normal game. 10. This team has all the signs of a team that is "coached" conservatively in all aspects, but particularly when we have larger leads. It seems we just get a bit more stiff and hesitant. It is not different than in a football game when a team up by 13 in second half doesn't throw the ball down the field at all, or stops blitzing, etc. It is a recognition that we're up, and we don't want to screw it up. A mindset that the other team is going to have to do the work to beat us, and we're not going to beat ourselves. 11. Coach Self plays to win each game, full out. No other considerations. Win the game at hand, and move on. I believe that is in his mind. 12. Coach Self reverts to his comfort zone in tight games, and becoming conservative has possibly put this team in multiple spots to lose close games.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

(cont) 13. However, it appears we win most of the close games. Look at this season. Coach Self knows how to win close games. Actually, yesterday was a great demonstration of how well this team is coached. We won. That's what counts. No question coach Self knows how to win the close game. 14. However, does playing to win the game at hand, with that tunnel-vision focus (which seems apparent, though I'm interested if other disagree on that assumption), have a negative impact on being ready for March? As I've posted before, would there have been more foresight in playing EJ in crucial 2nd half and OT minutes .. say 6 - 7 minutes in the last 10, and 2+ in overtime .. to get the guy aclimated to such an environment? If EJ would have cost us the game playing the minutes as suggested, would we be better off with EJ getting the experience and being 14-1, or being 15-0 and without it. Same said for TRob (though TRob's lack of PT may be more related to his missing practice). 15. Is it coach Self's style .. both in his approach to regular season games, and general coaching philosophy (possibly being overly conservative), that makes KU more prone to the upset in March?

I would offer that I saw three big things yesterday that caused me to believe coach Self is playing it too conservatively .. EJ, and possibly TRob, were not in the mix late; we refused multiple opportunities to drive and penetrate against the 1-3-1 (which was a spread out, more half court trap set); and we did not push the ball up the court despite multiple opportunities. Overall, I felt we just looked hesitant on the offensive end .. don't know if that was observed by others. It seems that once a teams eliminate our big lead, we then take more of a command of the game. Not really sure here.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

No way would Self have played it as he did, if he were going full out for a win against UM.

He would have played some zone press.

He would have played some half court zone.

He would have doubled the ball before the ball screen arrived.

He would have used his bench waaaaaay more.

Once up by 15 or whatever, he treated it as a practice game the rest of the way in which his main purpose was to make his starters win a game and play in the mid to high 30s PT so they realized they could do it.

He was willing to take loss at UM to try to make his first five win a game.

If Selby hadn't sucked so badly on the shot, Brady probably would not have even gotten in the game. Once it was clear KU could beat them, Self turned it into the first five's game to labor through and prove to him that they could get a win on their own--no strategic favors from Self--not even any help from the bench.

It was a good game to do this, too.

The Princeton denies EJ's, TRob's, and Travis' basic strengths, and is particularly hard on their weakness--inexperience. It was the same only more so for Withey; that's why he didn't even step on the floor.

This seems just an exercise for the first five. Can you win one on your own?

I suspect he also feels some loyalty, or professional respect for Beilein for some reason, and didn't want to hang a 20 point loss on him in a meaningless non conference game, when Beilein's job is likely in danger. Self probably views Beilein as one of the good guys about to get $hit-canned at a very awkward time given his age.

But neither coach could have foreseen such an awful shooting night for both teams. So: at some point in the second half, it turned into a game, as it always can against a Princeton system team, when the opponent can't hit diddledy doo. It got out of control and Self almost lost a gimme game trying to build up his first five's confidence.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 3 months ago

A couple of thoughts:

The idea of Self being overly conservative would support the fact that he didn't press. It's outside of his comfort zone. What he did do was "pressure" full court at times, man to man (not traps). Again, what he prefers.

My first impression is that Self shortening the rotation, etc., had to do with winning the game. Playing who he felt were the best players. Eliminating possible risk by playing his best players (the starting 5), and those he felt were reliable. Brady was his main sub, who fits that bill. EJ, too much unknown. TRob, maybe the same.

And I have a hard time believing a coach would risk a win to try and keep a game close for another coach .. but for something completely meaningless at the end of the season for two teams out of it.

Curious as to how you think "The Princeton denies EJ's, TRob's, and Travis' basic strengths."

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Travis and EJ are strongest in transition or off the bounce in half court, but have also given good trifecta. The Princeton, especially with the stretch 1-3-1, stops transition dead. Dribbling against a zone is a waist, too. And Travis is a wing shooter and the stretch 1-3-1 gives few looks out of the traditional wing spot. EJ likes to shoot from the wing and the point, and again, it denies those spots.

Defending the Princeton could be tough for EJ right now, too. He's a terrific slider but guys can still crowd forward on him and blow by. His recovery speed against such a blow by in a conventional high low is sensational, because he has great speed and length and he is not fighting through more screens, nor having to follow sharply angled cuts. In the Princeton he is very likely to run into picks and have to contend with a curving cut on the blow by. This neutralzes his great recovery speed, and puts a premium on not getting blown by in the first place. Even experienced defenders have trouble with blow bys in the Princeton. The offense is scripted to confront you with crowding forward in close quarters, then with open spaces with arcing cuts, and then back to crowding in close quarters and so on. It is a nasty, nasty scheme. In these close quarters, angular quickness and agility and not great sliding and speed are essential. Travis can play both kinds of defense, angular quickness in close quarters and long slides and speed, and that's why he was in their. EJ seems to be a terrific slide and speed guy, but he still does not appear ready to do both. He's long and athletic. The Princeton is intended to take long and athletic types into and out of tight places and back into them frequently. Your length is no advantage when you have to get down, bump, and crowd through tight conditions. It actually gets in the way.

TRob has the agility and speed to chase post men in and out and in and out in the Princeton, but he is just too foul prone in screens, picks and arcing cut situations to be at his best vs. the Princeton.

I could inventory quite a few more points here, but I think the case is made.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

But again, I'm not saying EJ, Travis and TRob could not do it at all against the Princeton, just that it would give them fits and minimize a lot of their strengths.

Of the three, I think its pretty clear that Self was intending to use Travis a significant amount had Travis not gotten injured. Travis would have gotten the minutes for the same reason Brady did. Travis can play in those tight quarters and he can handle the quick angle moves in crowded ball screening situations.

Hypothetically, I do not think Little would have played a lot, because he seems a long with the same limitations as EJ.

And at the same time, I am saying Self wanted to create a first team and make it win one on its own.

It was the combination of these two factors that caused him to play who he did how much he did; that and Travis' injury.

Regarding Self's taking it easy on Beilein, I am saying he had a sizeable lead, and he did not do any of the things that he has shown previously like doubling the ball before the ball screener arrives. He did not go for the kill with strategy.

You see Self as being as conservative as he looks.

I view Self as a virtuoso, a frequent gambler, an experimenter and tinkerer, who masks himself in his outward conservative look.

I can see how you would arrive at your take.

But I have just witnessed too much dazzling coaching to view him as you do.

And you have witnessed too much conservatism to view him as I do.

Guess we'll have to let it go for now.

AsadZ 7 years, 3 months ago

HEM, Good post. Personally I disagree with your point #14. I don't think anyone would lose a game just to get a player more experience. You ask any coach in Div 1 and I am sure that they would play the players that give them the best chance to get a W on the given night. I like EJ a lot and I wish him all the best. I am sure that he will do very well in his career here but I would not second guess the head coach.

jaybate 7 years, 3 months ago

Which assistant coach will he replace at KU? :-)

danmoore 7 years, 3 months ago

Sometimes you have to win with defense. Fortunately, KU can play good D.

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