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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Iowa State Cyclones awed by Morris twins

Kansas forward Markieff Morris looks to push the ball up court after stealing it from Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

Kansas forward Markieff Morris looks to push the ball up court after stealing it from Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim during the second half on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa.

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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' 84-79 victory over Iowa State on Jan. 13, 2011.

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— After watching Kansas University forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris in Wednesday’s 84-79 KU victory, Iowa State forward Jamie Vanderbeken was ready to make a bold statement.

“They’re probably,” Vanderbeken said, “the best frontcourt in the nation.”

KU’s junior forwards from Philadelphia combined for 50 points and 24 rebounds. That meant the two were responsible for 59.5 percent of the Jayhawks’ points and 51.1 percent of the Jayhawks’ rebounding.

“The stats talk for themselves,” Vanderbeken said. “They’re really good.”

ISU coach Fred Hoiberg, who scouted the Morris twins as part of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves’ organization the last two years, said the brothers have made big strides since their freshmen season.

“They’ve really done a good job with their post moves. I’m sure (KU assistant coach) Danny Manning probably has a little bit to do with that,” Hoiberg said. “Those guys, they’re future NBA players. I think they’ll be very good players in that league with their size and strength and shooting ability. If you have all that, it makes (it) a pretty tough guard.”

The Morris brothers also combined for seven offensive rebounds, which matched that of Iowa State’s entire team.

KU outrebounded ISU, 47-34.

“It was the most physical game of the year by far,” Vanderbeken said. “But that’s the Big 12 for you. Every night, it’s going to be a battle down low. Bodies are sore, but you’ve got to expect that.”

The Cyclones also struggled to keep the Morrises off the free-throw line.

The brothers combined for 25 free-throw attempts, while ISU had a season-low 10.

“Their emphasis is to go inside — to throw the ball to those two guys,” Hoiberg said. “They run the high-low game with the two of them. They really punch in. They seal you hard down there. We didn’t want to give them any easy baskets.”

Iowa State also had four players commit at least four fouls.

“I thought we battled them,” Hoiberg said. “They just outmuscled us, I thought, with those two guys.”

Hoiberg was frustrated with his team’s 10 first-half turnovers, which were a reason the Cyclones trailed, 40-34, at the break.

“They (Jayhawks) capitalize off turnovers better than any team in the country, and we knew that coming in, and we continued to take that extra dribble,” Hoiberg said. “I thought our guys fought. The effort was outstanding. It was as good of an effort as we’ve put out on the floor all year, but you can’t make those types of mistakes against a team like Kansas.”

Comments

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

"How Prizzi's Honor Overwhelmed the Hilton Jinx Much to the Chagrin of Those that May Not Understand Seniority and Family Honor Quite as Well as They Should, Godfather:"

~"Mr. Prizzi, this is jaybate. I am very, very sorry to say this, godfather, but I am more disappointed in the posters than in the players in the game tonight."

~"Jaybate," said Mr. Prizzi by phone, "you are like son to me, so listen to me very carefully. There are those in the family that do not truly understand the family business. They do not appreciate just how hard one sometimes must have to protect the family interests and to make the money needed to make all of what we are possible. Money does not grow on trees, my beloved jaybate. But they do not know this. They think players can do whatever they wish whenever they wish it. They think players have to have a certain look and be a certain age to be good players. Eh, they are sensitives. They are good family members, my jaybate, but they are sensitives that like to live in a world that we both know is make believe--a world where "the future" can be "the present" whenever they wish it to be.

~"But godfather, I don't mind their criticisms of our players and our play so much, but they are so incredibly stingy with praise about who does well and they completely refuse to give credit where credit is do. And I say this with all due respect, godfather."

~"Eh, jaybate, you of all aliases, must understand that the sensitives must be allowed to say what they think, even when we know it is the talk of sensitives and not the talk of men who must make the hard decisions that protect the family's honor, even when they are not popular. Capice?"

~"I understand, Mr. Prizzi. I am as loyal as an alias can be. As you wish, but..."

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

~"First, Marcus Morris had an absolutely brilliant game, godfather, just a monster game: 33 points, 13 glassvacs and shot 11 of 15 from the field and 11 of 14 from the FT line. This is easily one of the 5 best games by a family member in the Prizzi era. And it was classic Marcus, godfather. He worked for a lot of garbage and he created a bunch of shots. Why, when Danny Manning put a team on his back and carried it, everyone said how great he was. If Mook, er, I mean, Marcus isn't player of the year in the B12, then the family will have to call in some IOUs or something. And I say this with all due respect."

~"Secondly, godfather, Brady Morningstar is out of his slump and he was Mr. Super Glue tonight. 29 minutes on demand in a jam, after you put him in the toughening box for 3 weeks. Incredible. Again, with all due respect, godfather, but all those turd polishers that diss him and talk about him needing to be on the bench can now bend way over and kiss his ass. Pure and simple: no Brady tonight, godfather, and ISU hangs an L on the family. The kid was everywhere holding it together. It seemed like he super glued every perimeter position at one time or another. Young Releford, who is going to be a great one, well, he is on the bench with sprain., as often happens to the young. Then The Prophet, who, also, godfather, will be a great one some day, gets a shoulder owie. And quite rightly, as young men are prone to do, they said, "we are sorry, godfather, but we have owies and can't play." They says this, godfather, as young men do, even though it is conference and now it is for all the marbles, if you know what I mean.

Steve Kubler 10 years, 10 months ago

Okay, now come clean the coffee I just snorted out my nose from my keyboard! LOL

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Eh, the family has a cleaning service that does that sort of thing for a very reasonable fee. :-)

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

~"So Mr. Prizzi, I mean I saw what happend. You turns to Brady, and you says, "Hey kid, I know I've been treating you like a skimmin' bookie. I knowz I put you in the toughening box, humiliated you the last two games playing mop up minutes, but you says to the kid, respectfully like, would you please come out here and go 29 to save our butts here. It was an act of beauty and respect and loyalty, Mr. Prizzi. The young guys that all the sensitives call "the future" just took a f!@#$%g powder on the family, and you says, "Brady, I know, I know, I broke my own rule and didn't trust a senior. But c'mon, kid, you was playing like castrated baritone. I hadda play "the futures" a little, didn't I? Well, didn't I?"

~"So, godfather," jaybate says, "Brady, he looks at you with those sad sack eyes of his and that kind of half Charlie Partana expression Jack Nicholson affected in the movie we financed about our own family, you know, Prizzi's Honor, and Brady's face, says, "I don't know, Mr. Prizzi, it is a very great honor and all, but "the future" ya know, may be you should think twice Mr. Prizzi, maybe "the future" can suck it up and come out here and get it done better than old Charlie Partana." It was like the kid was sayin', "I mean no disrespect, godfather, I am only trying to think of what is best for the family."

~"And you, godfather," jaybate continues, "you says, "Charlie, er,Brady, this is for the good of the family. I know it might hurt "the future's" feelings a little, and the sensitives feeling's a lot, but you and I, Charlie, we go way back and we know when business is business, right, Charlie? "The future" will always have tomorrow, but you and me, Charlie, we got only today. We have to live in the present and do what's best for the family, now."

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

~"And I swear, godfather," jaybate says, "this kid Brady aka Charlie he thinks to himself, "Do I do what Mr. Prizzi axes me to do tonight, knowin' that the first chance he gets he will start pittin' "the future" against me again, or do I ice him right here on the spot in front of 12,000 corn hicks?" And I know this kid, godfather, like he was my own son. So, eh, after a few seconds, Brady aka Charlie nods his heavy head, and it is like he says, sure ting, Mr. Prizzi, I am loyal to dis family until the day I die. I will do whatchu ax of me. I carry the Prizzi's honor on my chest in white letters, even when some in the family don't see me as a part of "the future" no more. Who do you want me to whack out there? You tell me and its as good as done, Mr. Prizzi."

~"And so, godfather," jaybate says, "I see you Bill Self, er, Mr. Prizzi, er the godfather, I see you puts an arm around Brady and you says, "Charlie, er, Brady, for the next 29 minutes, kid, its like the old days. You and me against the world. La cosa nostra. Screw all the jerks that don't appreciate the blue glue that you do so true. I know all Marcus needs tonight is for you to glue him from every position I put you in, okay? Selby? He's a stiff in a three point ice house tonight. He sits ten for you. Tyrel? For playing him ahead of you I must apologize most profusely. But you understand, Charlie, it is strictly business. He has a Disruption Statistic that is most exceptional and how was your godfather to know that this pin headed hit man, who is also quite loyal to the Prizzis, how was I to know that he would shoot more bricks than a freemason trying to horn in on the family's construction business in Newark? Tyrel sits ten for my Charlie."

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

~"And, then, godfather," jaybates says, "I was so in awe of what youz did next for the kid. You go, "Lastly, and most importantly, Tyshawn, whom I also love like my own son, he has developed some kind of unfortunate habit of pulling up in the paint tonight and doing nothing. Tyshawn sits 9 for my Charlie. I temporarily lost my mind, Charlie. I forgot that "the future" makes the fans happy, because its never here, Charlie, and sometimes even the present, and by this I mean Tyshawn, needs a change of scenery. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, in the family business, it is impact and glue that wins games once conference starts. Nuttin' else. Capice?" And Brady aka Charlie, for you and for the family, he races onto the floor and holds it together, while everyone but he and Marcus and one other senior family member come like completely unglued by this Hilton Hex, or whatever it is."

~"Third, god father," jaybate continues, "Mario Little, the man who many said "...would not improve the rotation," if he were allowed to come back and so should not be allowed to come back, he came back and saved our butts, er, uh, excuse me, godfather, our fannies. Anyways, Mario Little, senior, he played 19 minutes, scored 8 points, grabbed 4 rebounds, and did not make a turn over. Mr. Prizzi you went to Mario and slapped his cheek affectionately and said, "Mario, you, you, you are like a son to me and this is why I have brought you back into the family. I would not be a good godfather, if I had cut you loose like many board rats said I should do. I admit, your indiscretion caused me grave difficulty, and there was a moment there when "the future" was playing pretty good against mid majors, eh, before the conference started, that I did consider having you waxed, like Mrs. Prizzi's legs. But, eh, family comes first and business is business and you have never given the family anything but your best...and, well, what can I say? Women! You can't live with them and you can't live without them. Capice?"

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

~Mr. Prizzi, er, Bill Self, pauses and smooths his coiff, and jaybates says, "Godfather, you were so wise with Mario. You said, "Eh, I know that I have been very, very hard on you, Mario Little, but it was for your own good that I did this. What you did did cause some tarnish on the family honor. Eeeeh, but business is business, Mario. And you are a very, very, very tough customer and a very, very, very good soldier, who I know I would cut his hand off for me before he would do anything to dishonor the family intentionally. Eh, women, they will make a man forget himself for a moment. Capice? Past is past. Leaders of the family must always think next, Mario, you know this. Eh, Thomas, he is such a good young man, but, eh, sometimes he plays a little younger than he is. Capice? Tonight he is playing very young, very, very young. Too young, Mario, and so I cannot work you in slowly, my son. Its business. You must play 19 minutes and be the third leg of the triad of maturity that will carry the family through this most unfortunate Hilton Hex that afflicts us. Capice?" And Mario says, "Yo, Mr. Prizzi, I will do as you ax me to. You have looked after me since I was a little juco transfer wet behind the ears. You did not kiss me off, when I was injured. You did not give me a zinc acid bath after I lost my head in the moonlight. I am utterly devoted to the family, Mr. Prizzi. I will do whatever you ax me to do." And you smiled, godfather, that big, broad smile that is so, so reassuring to everyone in the family, and you put your arm around Mario, and you sang, "When-na the moon/hits your eye/like a big pizza pie/that's amore..."

~"It brought a tear to my eye, godfather, a true tear," jaybate says.

~"Godfather," jaybate says, "all the players made the best of a very difficult situation at Ames tonight. Second of two road games two days apart. Two injuries to "the futures." Jeff Withey still too skinny to play. Thomas playing younger than he is. Markieff, doing okay, but not as his sharpest. Selby and Tyrel bricking everything in site. Tyshawn having one of his seizure spells. And yet...and yet...due to your wisdom, godfather, the family's honor was saved by the Mook, Mario, and Charlie, er, Brady. Truly, godfather, you understand that business is business and the senstives must be allowed to say what they want. All that really matters is that those of us that knows how business axtually gets done, does the right think like you done tonight, godfather."

jhox 10 years, 10 months ago

I see this was posted at 2:22 am. Jaybate, do you ever sleep? You seem to post at all hours of the day.

Kurt Eskilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Not everyone can sit through the entire 4-hour "Director's Cut" – but I found it brilliant. As noted below, "The blue glue that you do so true" is great. Hall of Fame material. Stay true to the view you spew, Jaybate!

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Thx. And I says this with all due respect.. :-)

Jacobpaul81 10 years, 10 months ago

It's easy to post all over the web when you have no job.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh, my you are in a nasty mood, aren't you? Its easy to post like you just did, when you aren't being intimate with a significant other, right? :-)

AsadZ 10 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate, Again, Very impressive. What do you think is happening with Taylor? He had a great start to the year and was very solid but seems to be reverting back to the old mistakes. Is he having a difficult time adjusting to play with Selby?

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Taylor is okay.

Every time he has trouble, just ask, "Has he done before what he has just struggled doing?"

This is his first year as the PG.

He is going through a whole series of firsts that precipitate struggles; this is the nature of relying on a new PG who has never been the primary PG in his life. He never played it in high school either. Its all new to him and its amazing he is doing as well as he is.

This ISU game was his first time to play two tough, physical road games with only two days rest.

It was his first conference game.

It was his first time to be schemed against by Hoiberg, who is running an incredibly wacky version of some offense, which put a lot of defensive stress on KU's perimeter guys, especially Tyshawn.

And when you combine road fatigue with unfamiliarity with schemes and newness at the PG that's the kind of performance you get in an environment where KU has often had trouble for whatever reason.

He's going to have a lot of trouble when he comes up against his first XTReme Muscle Ball team. He's seen it from the 2, but never when they are beating on him at the point the way they will (the way they did on Sherron).

If he has another bad game, where he's driving in the paint and looking lost, then we may have a problem, but for now I think he's okay.

The big problem is how to get him to halve his TOs, which he shows no signs of being able to do.

But I'm reserving judgement on Tyshawn until we start the second half of conference play. I think on the back half of the round robin what Tyshawn does then will be WYSIWYG.

lincase 10 years, 10 months ago

The phone rings: "Jaybate,here" "Jaybate, this is Mr. Prizzi. I have some comments regarding above article. The style was very entertaining, the typing--legendary." Jaybate: "Thank you, sir." "But the math, Jaybate, the math is causing the godfather some grief." Jaybate: "The math, sir?" "According to such venerable sources as this website and ESPN, Selby played 31 minutes. He could not possibly have given Brady 10, as the game ended in regulation. The error was not mine. I never make mistakes. Be careful in the future." Jaybate: "I will, sir, and thank you." lol

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

So shoot me! :-)

Actually, if you really want to split Miss Thistlebottom hairs, he could easily have taken ten from Selby.

All he had to do was take ten from Sellby and give Selby a minute of EJ's time, or a minute from one of the bigs, when Self went small briefly, right?

Now I really can tell you aren't grounded in math, or the sciences, Miss Thistle! Or is it Mr. Thistle? :-)

Next!

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

No way. No sorries. You can be my editor any day. I just got lucky with that come back.

Steve Brown 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks Charlie. Yes road tested battle experience does count for something.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Yo, Mr. lighthawk, this was a very smart thing that you just agreed to. Mr. Prizzi says to tell you you can keep your house and he will not foreclose,.

Michael Luby 10 years, 10 months ago

Once again jaybate inspires us all with his incredible Jayhawk prose. Nice Godfather incorporation. Freekin awesome!
I cringe whenever Reed, taylor and Morningstar put up the 3. "Prizzi should crack down on that pronto! Havent quite gotten to cringe state with Selby, he can still shoot lights out on a good night.

YuCoJayHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

The blue glue that you do so true.

niiiiiiiiice. :)

Tam Bui 10 years, 10 months ago

Jesus, Joseph, & Mary! You're the fastest typer west of the Mississippi! I think that's like 5,000 words in 4 minutes! However, I'm not took keen on role-playing, or obscure movie references from the 80's. Just saw the game on dvr (yeah, I know it's like 1:30am, but I had $hit to do...). Here's my review: "Great job, twins! Selby, good game....you're still pissing me off sometimes, but I definitely see the amazing potential. TRob, TT, Tyrel, wtf...you're all better than this performance! Welcome back, Mario! Get well soon, Travis!"...aaaannnd....scene.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

When Mr. Prizzi says type, he don't just mean when I want. He means now, for the good of the family. What can I say? I ain't a sensitive.

Alohahawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Dang Jaybate. Leave room for the the rest of us on here. Stayed up to read your new book. Will it be in the bookstore before the Hawk's next game? If every Jayhawk fan buys a copy, it will stay on the best seller list till we win the national championship this coming April. Just be careful not to give away any insider info about the Godfather's organization. We need your wit and wisdom on this board.

As for the Hawks. Not perfect, but then again, our record speaks for itself. As does the record of some of the other top (?) ranked teams. Should be some interesting rankings that come out next week. I never would have bet that K-State would lose their first two conference games, one of which at home. And then there's the Blue Devils, who are definitely blue, because they forgot to put up their dukes and got KO'd. (30 something missed threes - you live by the three, you die by the three.) The Michigan - Ohio State score proves that our win against Michigan wasn't that bad, definitely not a cupcake win. And according to some of the national sports writers, Ohio State doesn't have much of a bench, so their starting five could get worn down by the end of the season. And all the Big East schools are going to beat up on each other. Not to say that KU's schedule is going to be much easier.

One at a time, Hawks. One at a time. So, bring on the Cornymushers.

PVJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Dey done call you da XTReme Poster fer nutin.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Ah, my flower from the French connection is Marseille. It is so good to hear from yous. Mr. Prizzi, he wants to know if you will be posting more often now that regular season is at hand. He says that I should tell you that he did not mean anything disrespectful to the fair sex, in any thing he said. He said he means that and takes it as a vow on his beloved mother's memory and cement business.

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Highlight of the night: Marcus gets a hard foul in the second half and retaliates by posting career highs in points and rebounds.

Great Job Marcus.

jhox 10 years, 10 months ago

Something is not right about Taylor's game right now. I don't see the speed and quickness that I've seen from him in the past, and his confidence seems to be shaken. He's not playing like a guy with his athletic gifts should be playing. I've always been pretty confident he'd have an NBA career, but I'm starting to lose that confidence. He needs to quit thinking so much and just start playing..

As for our other point guard, Selby finally showed off his penetration skills last night, and it was a welcome sight. Let's hope we see a lot more of that throughout the Big 12 season. I believe it is time for him to take on most of the ball handling duties. He's more of a natural 1 and Taylor is more of a 2 (minus the great outside shooting skills.)

Very nice game for Brady last night. I think I read 5 rebounds and 4 assists, or I may have that backwards. Without Brady and Little, we lose that game. And, of course, the Morris twins were all world offensively.

I thought our defense was terrible the second half. Once again it looked like we left our legs on the practice court.

All in all, a good win in a tough venue to play in and in what could have been a trap game for us.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 10 months ago

Taylor hasn't had the same slashing ability that he showed last year when he was playing off the ball more. He had a knack toward the end of last year for getting in the paint and getting a good shot almost whenever he wanted it.

Hopefully he gets back to that slashing game that he has shown the ability to do.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

In my opinion, last night was proof positive of why the hawks need to run nearly every possession through the twins. They were outstanding. With the exception of Kief's free throws, I thought they played great on both ends of the ball. I'd really like to see twins hit 75% at the charity stripe by March.

The team shoots 23 free throws per contest. That can make up for about 25% of their entire points scored per game......any close contest can be determined by this statistic.

It also gets under my skin when the team turns the ball over more than 10 times....which is happening far too often for this team to be great.

Why can't this team beat the zone? They couldn't crack the 2/3 last night & they couldn't crack the 1/3/1 against Michigan. I don't know why Selby & Tyshawn are not using their first step quickness in these situations. Lazy passes don't work when playing a zone.....but the hawks have not figured that out yet, I guess.

The high/low functions more efficiently when Brady is in the game. I don't know why, but it does. It seems like Brady is always .5 a second ahead of the game spacing, which allows him to know where he is going to go with the ball before he gets it....and his passes are almost always crisp, with just the right angle & velocity.

Mario really impressed me last night. I did not expect Bill to go to him so quickly & I didn't expect to see Rio get back into the groove so fast. It's a good thing to be wrong about this.

Anybody see the Michigan & Ohio St game last night?

RCJHGOKANSAS 10 years, 10 months ago

I live in Des Moines, so my son and I always go to the game each year. This year there wasn't as many KU fans in the building probably because the game was during the week.

I noticed last year as well as this year that before the game when the scoreboard is showing a video clip of Cyclones basketball, ALL the KU staff are focused, looking up and watching the video.

I think that is really a class act....show respect for your opponent, shows appreciation of the game......

I know last year Self didn't like that Baylor didn't watch the KU video before the game....so good to see him and his staff do it the right way!

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

@Jaybate

What gives you the idea that Brady is out of his slump?

I noticed the game before you last you said he'd come out...but, just as you don't go into a slump in one game, I don't think you can come out of it in a game either.....

Thoughts?

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

I am going to keep this to a "Likes" and "Dislikes" discussion. I've been running a little short on time lately.

Dislikes:

1) Outlet passes: Taylor isn't paying attention who's behind him and not coming back for the basketball. The Twins simply aren't focusing after getting the rebound. It's a very fundamental skill. You can't get out to half court everytime after a miss. Second straight game the outlet passes have resulted in multiple turnovers.

2) FT's/Lane Violation: Just another area where there is lack of focus. Actually, Selby's 2 misses were uncharertistic, but it was at the end of the game and Marcus did shoot 11 of 14 so I guess this reverts back to Kieff. 5-11 has got to get better.

3) 3 pointers: Man, this team takes a lot of 3's at not a very high percentage. That was my first initital thought, but after looking it up, Kansas ranks 64th in the country in 3 point efficiency at just under 38 percent. The biggest named schools in the country: Illinois is 3rd at 43.4%, Duke is 7th at 41.7% and Kentucky is 14th at 40.7%. Definitely some room for improvement.

I still think Selby is "Settling" too much around the perimeter. Hubert Davis was pointing this out through the entire broadcast and I agree with him. The "3" will always be there so I hope he does a little more creating. I don't mind a few more turnovers from him as long as he is trying to get everybody else involved.

Kieff was 0-3 from downtown and 2 of the 3 were taken within 1 pass of bringing the ball up the court. That shot drives me nuts. The one 3 he did take that I didn't mind was completely wide open so I don't have a problem with that. Getting tired of the 1 pass shot from Kieff when KU is up 7-11 points. It's to the point where you expect it every game.

Finally, I hated Reed's pull up "3" in transition. Yikes! Anybody else cringe when Taylor shoots from the perimeter? He's 5 of 18 on the year, which is actually better than I thought.

4) Transition offense: I mean, how many botched 3 on 2's and 2 on 1's has Kansas botched the last 2 games? It's ugly! Taylor's decision making is late, usually wrong, and not fundamental in any way. These one handed and scoop passes have got to end.

5) Pick and Pop defense: That's all Vanderbeeken did all night making 4 of 10 3's.

6) "Killer Instinct" and focus: I think we've all seen that this team lacks focus at ill advised times during the game when they should be going for jugular. You know, some want to try and compare this team to the 2008 team, but the two fundamentally differences between this team and that team. 1) Attention to detail 2) Killer Instinct when they built a lead. I will say that the 07 team that went to the Elite 8 struggled with these two very things much the same as this 2011 team.

7) Hated seeing EJ get hurt with that shoulder again. Hope it doesn't happen again.

ObiWan 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm with you all the way, especially on the 3-pointers. I love the trey, but many, if not most, of our attempts last night seemed forced. Not to mention, we were shooting them so early in the possession. Swing the ball around a little bit, look for an easy basket inside, then find an open man. Or, my personal favorite, penetrate and kick, a.k.a. D'Antoni-ball. It seemed like every single one of our 3-point threats except Marcus jacked up at least one bad shot, and Taylor did it twice in about 10 seconds. Our low percentage is not from bad shooting, it's from bad decisions.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't remember Marcus shooting any and the box score said he was 0-0.

ObiWan 10 years, 10 months ago

I was saying he was the only guy who didn't take a bad one, but is normally a threat from beyond the arc. I probably could have worded that better.

aerohawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I think we need to limit our 3 point shooting to between 6 to 10 shots a game. We are so efficient when we work it inside it is sick.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

Likes:

1) How could you not love the double-double and new career highs in both rebounds and points with 33 and 13. Marucs played great. He didn't even take a "3" while doing it. Kieff should take some notes. Marcus did have that lane violation, but other than that Marcus played fantastic.

2) Stat wise Kieff had the second best game, but man Kieff's mind drifts during games. I still "Like" the kid, but he's got to clean up some of his play and decision making. This is one kid that needs to pay attention to detail more. It's hard to complain too much about a kid that gets a double-double with his brother, but his stat line could have been so much better if he just focused a little more.

3) Morningstar-You take away 2 of Morningstar's ugly misses from downtown and he played pretty darn well with 5 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists against 1 turnover. Nothing flashy as usual, but he did get the job done. EJ's injury resulted in Morningstar's 29 minutes which is a little more than I like, but it worked.

4) Rebounds: KU was everywhere offensively and defensively on the boards. Holding Iowa State to 5 offensive boards is a very good number. Overall outrebounded ISU 43-31.

5) I like the fact that conference play started so we can start figureing out who is going to start getting into the main rotation. It's really amazing the timing of Releford's injury and the return of Little. They dynamics between Morningstar and EJ as well as Releford and Little is going to be very interesting. I can't wait to see how those 4 are going to be incorporated going forward.

The End

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

good to have you back, shaw....haven't seen you post a bit.

good insight. I'm with you on the ever-growing trend of the "one pass to the trailing morrii, who then takes the spot up 3" It's unnecessary. In fact, it almost always drives me crazy when someone takes 3 before working an offensive set first. marcus & kief are the worst, but I've noticed Reed doing it more frequently too.

Gosh, I hope Reeds 3ball comes around this year, or the hawks are doomed come tourney time.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

I have a lot of stuff going on here in the New Year. I was so disgusted on Sunday (Even with a win against Michigan) about the Chiefs and Jayhawks that I didn't even look at the blogs.

I didn't even want to write this one from the Iowa State game last night because I didn't want to come across as too negative. In the end, I was look at the details where the team can get better so I need to start looking at it from that pespective.

I do have some worries about this team, however. Hope to see some major improvement soon. IMHO I think this team is kind of hiding behind the fact that it's 16-0 and soon to be ranked #2 in the country.

I'll tell you one thing, blownjay, next year's schedule will definitely be a wakeup call to Jayhawk nation. I think it will be good though. I think you can learn a lot from losses. I just don't want this season to turn into "Fools Gold", but for some reason I'm feeling like it might be. I hope I'm completely wrong about this, but something just doesn't feel right with this team. I did say this about last year's team and everybody thought I was crazy. Still a little early to tell with this 2011 team, but I think we'll know about 2/3rds through the conference slate what type of team KU is.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you. It's just not there.....again, they are not clicking. I keep justifying it to myself by saying "well, we don't want them to peak just yet anyway"

hawk_of_ages 10 years, 10 months ago

You could also "justify it to yourself" by noting that we are 16-0, now including three tough road wins.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

Dude, you on some sort of mission or something? 16-0 doesn't mean that the team is playing well my friend.

Maybe you should think of it like, "Wow!, this team is 16-0 and not playing very good basketball at the moment." At least the have a lot of room for improvement.

You can't hide your flaws as a team the entire season. Soon, it catches up with you. I don't have to mention last year? The good thing is that KU has time to fix those flaws..........hopefully.

hawk_of_ages 10 years, 10 months ago

I agree that we're not perfect even while our record is perfect, and I'm sure we agree on some of the problems that need to be corrected.

But to say we're "not playing well" when we're not only undefeated but at or near the top in offensive and defensive FG percentage nationally -- I just think that's taking the criticism too far. We're obviously playing pretty well -- with room for improvement.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

hawk, in my heart of hearts, i want this team to be perfect, too, just like you do. Pero lo digo como lo veo, amigo.....last years team was 33-3......they got it done most of the season, yet they still lacked "IT".

but then again, maybe mine & your definition of "it" are different.

hawk_of_ages 10 years, 10 months ago

There were certainly problems with last year's team that were evident before we lost to UNI, but even so, I think we were a title-worthy team. If a couple plays had gone the other way vs. UNI, we certainly could have escaped and then run the table. (In '08, no one expected us to beat UNC and Memphis after we almost lost vs. Davidson.)

I don't know about "it," but I do think the main thing this team lacks is a strong floor general. We need our guards to play more consistently. At the same time, I also think we as KU fans tend to be a bit hyper-critical and fail to appreciate the good things.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

I get what your saying...I'm not saying this team isn't good or not title worthy. But to me, they remind of a team who pictures themselves on top of the mountain, instead of climbing it.

IT=tenacious, attention to details, and coveting the ball on EVERY possession.

hawk_of_ages 10 years, 10 months ago

That's a good definition of "It." But I remember wondering even back in '08 if the team had "it" -- they were sometimes sloppy and turnover-prone too. I know Self has said that his aggressive style of play tends to produce turnovers as a sort of side effect.

GeoHawk15 10 years, 10 months ago

Kushaw, I couldn't agree more with your comment that "this team is kind of hiding behind the fact that it's 16-0."

I'm very happy to be undefeated at this point in the season, but I still haven't seen 2 games in a row where this team has performed firing on all cylinders. I think that consistency is what last year's team lacked and what this team is lacking right now.

Not trying to be overly critical, especially since we're still getting the W's, but IMHO we need to see a substantial improvement in play consistency in order to make that 6-game run in March/April.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

You all have to read this. If you didn't love Danny Manning already you will after reading this. This was posted by Mascott on theshiver and it's hilarious. You the man Danny! Who knows if it's really true, but the simple fact that it's coming from an Iowa State fan is awesome.

http://www.cyclonefanatic.com/forum/mens-basketball/111592-danny-manning-encounter-during-halftime.html#post2093449

dynamitehawk 10 years, 10 months ago

That's funny - thanks for sharing. Danny Manning is one of the most approachable famous people. He's really a regular guy, along with Bill Self. We are so lucky to have them.

Although, it would be fun to drink beer with Larry Eustachy. Just sayin'.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Talk about competitive!

If Danny did that, then once again, he is Dan the Man!

Imagine what he could run on this board, if he took a minute.

This combinaton of humanity and "attention to every detail" is part of what separates KU's coaching staff from others.

Rock Chalk Danny Manning, whether you did, or didn't do this. For if you didn't, well then you should have!

This will endure in the folklore of The Legacy!

zsn 10 years, 10 months ago

I was there during the Danny years, and lived behind the apt complex where most of the basketball team lived (around 9th and Emery) - Turgeon, Randall, Scooter, Danny, Milt all lived around there. I would run into them all the time walking to classes, on the street which cut through the rinky-dink radio station, on to the fountain. They were all very nice and pleasant and were very down to earth, even after the Championship!! Turg used to hang out at Johnny's quite a bit.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

this was my path to class once, as well!!

kesmithstl1 10 years, 10 months ago

great find! I have a tendency to believe everything I read w/o investigating, so I can't wait to tell this story to everyone!!!

REHawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Danny the Man. HE COOL! Going to be a sad day when his children leave the nest and he, perhaps, accepts a head coaching job elsewhere in order to prepare for future application for Self's job when Self departs. He and Turgeon and maybe Boyle? must be thinking about such an ascencion to the throne. At one time Billy G. might have been in that mix...before he blew up his resumee by the hapless stopover in Lexington. Eustachy. HA! Just imagine the young hotties grouped up in that beerfest....

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

I don't think Manning will ever be the the head coach at Kansas. He could be a "Lifer" as an assistant coach, but I don't see him being the man in charge at Kansas. I would love it if he were, but just don't see it.

Self is 48 and Manning is 44. Self has always said he doesn't want to coach forever so I give him 12 more years at the most on KU's sideline to give him an even 20. That would put Self at the age of 61 and even if Mannings left next year for a new job (He can't because his kids have a couple of more years of school) by the time Manning ever got the opportunity to be head coach at Kansas again he would be 56 or 57. I just don't see that happening.

The only way I ever see Self leaving within the next 10-12 years is if he wins another Championship in the next few years and then wants to bolt for the NBA ranks. That's the only way I see any of the 3 above, and most likely Turgeon getting the nod getting the Job at KU. If Self does leave KU at the age of 60 or 61, I see somebody young like Josh Pastner getting the job. He'll be 44 or 45 at that time.

As much as I liked Jerod Haase and CB McGrath at KU, I don't want any more UNC, Dean Smith, or Roy Williams deciples walking the sidelines as a KU coach. I say just let Bill Self hand pick the next coach and keep the "True KU" roots in store.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

I forecast Self gone in one, or six years.

Next year is the next ideal moment for him to jump to the NBA.

I can feel it building.

This team is probably not experienced enough to win it this year, even though they have the talent to get it done.

But if the NBA lockout keeps this team in tact, next season is his next likely ring season.

The time for Self to jump to the NBA is right after his next ring. And the time to max his dollars with his pals in OKC is next season. OKC has Durant, which Self could build a ring team around and win a ring in 2, maybe three years, with Larry Brown and/or Del Harris sitting behind him Tex Winter style.

I haven't mentioned this scenario, because it is such a sad one to me, but the hand writing is all over the place that a ring after next season would necessitate a very, very large decision in his life. Does he want to move home to Oklahoma, try the next level of the game, and transition from just being wealthy and secure, to being super wealthy and never having to care about anything ever again. Self coming off a ring season could easily become the highest paid rookie NBA coach in history. He brings everything to needed for marketing an NBA coach with him instantly. And he has the NBA connections in players and coaches to make the transition feasible. And it means an end to recruiting.

Self and his wife do not want to spend the rest of their lives with him on an airplane non stop year round.

Coaching in the NBA would be a breeze compared to the grind of what he does now.

From 50 on, the last place he wants to be is recruiting 17 year olds in crappy gyms in out of the way places.

An NBA season is long in comparison to a D1 season, but it is short compared to year round recruiting.

I pick six years out as the next likely window, because its likely to take that long to assemble and have pan out the next team that can win one. Its a rough guess, but it allows for missing once or twice before his next hit after next year.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Self coaching to 61 in college seems incomprehensible to me. He's almost learned everything he can learn now, except a formula for winning rings every season in the modern era.

And, again, the idea of being a gym rat 12 months a year does not seem his thing.

And he does not seem like the kind of guy who can turn it all over to other persons.

No, I reckon he's gone after next season, or gone in six.

Danny could be the next coach in either scenario, but it depends heavily on him. He's never indicated that he wants to do more than he is doing.

Manning's big decision would hinge on what he has decided about his ability to recruit and his ability to put up with the things kids this age do.

Manning's been out on the trail and I have not heard anyone say yet that they came mostly because of Danny, though that's why any big should come.

Now, its likely that he and Self would not talk about who was responsible for landing who.

But Danny knows whether he can do it now, and one thing that stands out about KU right now is that KU has not been landing many bigs since they got the Twins, and it has not been for lack of trying either.

They may get Deandre and Chol, or Ellis, but they may not. And if they don't, this will be a very long dry spell for recruiting bigs. And it raises a question about how good of a recruiter Danny is.

Only he and Self know for sure.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

Good stuff Jaybate! I also think Self wants to be the only coach in KU history to have won more than 1 title. NCAA titles that is! Don't go down the Helms road with me.

I also think there is a part of him that wants to tie or even have more championships than Roy Williams. That's just my opinion though.

Debbie Mangen 10 years, 10 months ago

I think Tyshawn Taylor has lost his confidence because he drives into the paint and more often than not gets called for an offensive foul. He was getting away with it earlier in the season but not now. He reminds me so much of Collins when he does it. I use to scream when Collins did it and now I'm screaming again. He needs to pull up and shoot if there's a man there. I also think he's worried about minutes with the depth of this team. He acts tenative in his play, afraid HCBS is going to bench him, which usually happens when he doesn't use his head. So far, I'm not impressed as much as I thought I would be with Selby. I know he's just learning the program, but if he would just play and not showboat for the crowd, he's do a lot better. Tyrel doesn't shoot enough. He will make a couple of shots and then just stop shooting. He needs to put it up. The twins were/are excellent. That new elbow rule is a farce. That's how players have been taught to hold the ball above their head, and if a smaller guard is guarding a taller player, they are going to run into that out-stretched arm. The hard foul on Marcus was a lot worse than the almost call on the elbow.

Michael Luby 10 years, 10 months ago

No, Reed most certainly does not need to put it up! Him and Brady have been absolutely horrible from long distance this year!! If anything they need to pump fake and pass to create for everyone else that can shoot better.

SDSurferFan 10 years, 10 months ago

Had to tape game because I was at SDSU vs UNLV in SD. Big East ball in the Mtn West. 54-49. Ku v SDSU would be highly intriguing. Also....my head would explode.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

Nice memory to have, slayr. Danny Manning has been one of the utmost blessings on Larrytown.

SDSurferFan 10 years, 10 months ago

Thanks kushaw! Nice article. Fisher is a very good coach and a great humble man. He is polar opposite of Selfs style, but gets his guys to play hard.

As an SD guy, I am over the top on the exposure the program has received.

I don't know if anyone would know the real name of their style of offense. I have been calling it the 'low-low.' They dump it into a big man, who either posts up and takes the shot or throws a 3-5 ft pass to another big man directly under the basket. It's beautiful, much like the hi-lo, when it works. Just curious.....

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

BlownJay,

As usual, very good question. And I hate good questions that expose my shortcomings. :-)

Perhaps I have overstated, or oversimplified my opinion about what point Brady is at along the slump curve.

For those who want the short form, I think Brady is, after the last two games starting to a show an aggregate trend line moving upwards, after having been trending downwards in the aggregate sense of his playing his role as a glue man now for well over a month, maybe two. This means he has a ways to go before he is playing back to his average performance levels, but he seems on his way.

I think this because his passing, on ball defending, help defense, rebounding, TOs, and strips seem at last to be moving in the right direction, even if his trifectation still sucks.

This does not mean that Travis, EJ and/or Little may not eat more into his time as the season continues, though I doubt he will ever fall much below 15, and suspect he will average closer to 20, over all with some games where other guys match up way better and he sits a lot.

For those that want the long form, especially about why I think he is trending up again, you will have to wade through a lot of verbiage, not enough stats, and my usual preference for context building (sometimes with arcanities) scattered willy nilly through argument, plus playful digressions. This alone keeps many away. :-)

What follows is not written for anti-Brady types, or pro Brady types, just for board rats that like to think about basketball in my idiosyncratic terms. To reiterate, the anti-Brady and pro Brady framing of the argument seduces into a false argument about all manner things irrelevant to KU getting better. I've avoided it here.

This post is written in answer to a very specific question by one poster alone: BlownJay, or as I affectionately call him, Blown Father, for reasons I have written about elsewhere, and will seem nonsensical, but not vulgar, to those that read me much.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

And most of all this is not intended to inflame, or rekindle any bickering between myself and HEM, who I respect but continue to disagree with on most things (or he with me depending on who goes first), not just about Brady.

I am proud to say that we are proving that two often diametrically opposed posters can go to conflict counseling by TruthHawk and come out peacefully co-existing. This may be the biggest accomplishment that either of us will ever have on this board.

HEM has been a board rat of his word about stopping the bickering and and I have written plenty that he could have bickered about since our stoppage, though he has either been wise enough not to read me, or wise enough to understand that the spirit of it has been to avoid quarrelling as much as possible. HEM has sprecifically joined hands with me (metaphorically speaking) to stop our bickering and to live and let live, not because he finds my points of view any more correct (quite the contrary, as his post tactfully, but firmly make clear), but because he obviously cares as much as I about maintaining the most functional possible environment in this medium of public discourse about KU basketball. He is a posting stud in his own way and no doubt getting better all the time. What more can one ask, except blind faith in my rightness on all things? :-) (Now that is a joke!)

For my part, I have been picaresque in my choice of subject matter of late as usual, and have tried to filter posts about Brady through a goodly amount of humor to try to meet the honorable standard that HEM has set.

So, let those few that want the long form begin the beguine, as Cole Porter wrote nonsensically...

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

BlownFather, I have been referring to a worsening global slump in Brady's game stretching from at least late November to very early January--not just about his unprecedentedly lousy trey shooting this entire season.

During significant portions of his global slump, Brady was probably turning it over as fast as Selby has tended to do since his joining the game club, and and as fast as EJ and Travis have, at their worst, and probably until recently in their supporting roles, maybe even faster at his worst.

And this is why many board rats have probably rightly called for his role to be reduced, and why Coach Self has done so, though he has not reduced Brady's minutes as much as some board rats would prefer.

In previous years, for Brady to make more than one TO in 15 minutes of PT as glue, and during some stretches even in a 30 minute PT performance, has been atypical. (Note: as ralster and others rightly note his performance declined somewhat last season, too, but nothing compared to this one) And he has had some 3 TO, maybe even some 4 TO games this season. 3-4 TO per game is not unusual for anyone on else this team (excepting Tyrel), but over his career it has been pretty unusual, at least as I recollect it. Stats may prove me wrong here though.

At the deepest part of the current global slump he was making bad judgements on glue plays that he had always made flawlessly the past two seasons. This is always a sign of concentration problems, and slumps are fundamentally about lost concentration, compensated for by trying too hard.

And at what now appears to me to have been the deepest part of his slump, when Selby was being integrated in to things, well, then he had to try to figure out, just as Tyshawn and Tyrel have had to try to figure, just how much help Selby needed, and how to pass it to him, and how to catch it from him in game action, which differs some from practice.

During this period of integrating Selby, first Tyshawn looked bad to aliases, because he was trying to modulate how much help Selby needed. Then Brady, who was already performing like a v-6 with a bum spark plug, suddenly struggled to figure out what help Selby needed, too, when the two were occasionally in games together.

Slumps are as contagious as common colds and now Tyrel seems to have caught the bug. He has hit a major wall, but he has some kind of firewall in him that has contained the bug to shooting lousey, not to coughing up TOs, but that could be coming next game.

Its hard to say who caught the bug first. It may have been Brady, since he seems to have performed the worst the longest. But it may also have started with Marcus. Being an impact guy, Marcus can play sub par for a couple of games before board rats start noticing and ringing their hands.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

With glue guys, like Tyshawn, Brady and Tyrel, board rats jump all over them the moment they have an off game, because some board rats don't even believe there is such a thing as a glue role. They think all players on the floor are, or ought to be, impact players and that glue roles only exist for coaches' pets, or dad's that give money. A few others think glue roles really exist, but that they should only be filled only by impact players playing glue. Illogical to me, as I've noted before, but its a free country and that's what many think.

Still, I don't know what is so tough about understanding glue and admitting its role in Self's game. The ball moves on a floor. You need two, or preferably three, impact players to score optimally. Three is ideal, but often doesn't work, because of the differing kinds of flow different impact players need to get the ball and create. For example, it does no good to have three impact guys who all need to be on the right wing to make their biggest impacts, right? You need three guys who can impact at three different regions that spread the threat around the floor.

So: why don't you want five impact players?

Because: impact players need to be threats before they get the ball. This, I suspect, is where many board rats start not getting it. Impact players need to be able to receive the ball at a moment before the defender can shift into maximum lock down mode. This requires a pass, some times two, sometimes even three, to find an impact player in such a circumstance.

So: a coach faces a trade-off matrix. Usually the impact players are such gifted whirling dervishes that they make some TOs as part of the go-get-a-basket package. That's cool. One can live with a few of their TOs, because they are the goose laying the golden egg of baskets.

But the guy who makes the pass to the impact player--which is more important? that he be able to make an impact, or that he be the sharpest most accurate passer one can find? Do you want the guy, any guy, who maximizes the odds of the ball reaching your impact players' hands, or another impact player. Afterall, an impact player can't score, or get optimally open, if he doesn't: a) get the pass at all; and b) get a pass in the right place.

For board rats who have either never played the game, or who have forgotten what it is is like to play it, they tend to say just give the impact guy enough PT so that he can do the glue stuff. The assumption being that the glue stuff is easy. For example, they tend to think passing is easy; that any knob can pass the ball accurately and in a timely fashion, i.e., without it sticking and without it going into the opposing team's hands. It looks so easy when it is done correctly. And there are no points assigned for doing it, so laymen tend to undervalue the pass. It has been this way since Jimmy wrote the rules. And yet there is more passing done than almost anything else on a floor, save for playing defense.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

For every one shot there are usuallly 3 or more passes. Think of how many total passes there are made in any game. No one, not even KENPOM, ever even bothers to count the total number of passes. Its considered vaguely important by laymen, but is a realm of basketball with almost no significant quantification of what goes right in passing. Just a stat called TOs that is a composite for many errors. There isn't even a bad pass stat kept!

The truth is, that just as with jump shooting, or rebounding, or FT shooting, good passers are part instinct and part hard work and always subject to lots of scarcity. There are probably fewer really good passing teams that there are really good shooting teams, though one can only guess, because there are no passing stats being kept that I know of.

Guys with specific skills for shooting, rebounding and passing are also usually body-morphology independent. You often can't tell who will be able to do them well, before they actually do it. You would like everyone to be long and athletic, but sometimes the great shooters are short like Calvin Murphy and Gale Goodrich, instead of long like Oscar Robertson and Jerry West. Sometimes the rebounders are short, like Charles Barkley and Bill Bridges, and Ed Nealy, instead of long like Russell, Wilt,Jabbar, Walton, Shaq, Hakeem, and Tim. And sometimes the good passing glue types look like Brady Morningstar, instead of Russell Robinson.

And sometimes these shorter guys are not as good as the best long, athletic guys. Heck, usually they aren't. But the point is, you gotta have some impact guys, what ever size and degree of athleticism they are. And you've got to have some glue guys, what ever size and athleticism they are.

Board rats who can see nothing but long and athletic guys filling roles, guys who prefer nothing but the most long and athletic guys, are like guys in bars who keep saying this girl is not good looking enough, even though she wants to dance, or that girl is not good looking enough, even though that girl wants to karaoke with them. They say they have to have that one beautiful one over there.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Their tolerance is so narrow that most nights the world passes them by. They don't dance and they don't sing much. And when they do find some woman to their liking, they are often ignoring most of the aspects of what makes for a happy date, or mate, in exchange for a very narrow and arbitrary definition of beauty--a beauty that may pack a heart breaker inside--a woman who can neither impact your life, nor be glue in it--just one who can be arm jewelry for a night, long long and sexy (instead of long and athletic), or be a life wrecker for a year or two before you leave to save your life.

Bill Self has to find guys who can shoot and pass now. Generally speaking he recruits guys who are long and athletic. Brady and Tyrel, at 6' 3-4" tall are pretty long and pretty athletic compared to what you see on some teams. Tyshawn is too, at 6'3" tall and much more athletic than most. Selby and EJ were short at 6'2" when recruited, but very athletic. EJ grew freakishly (and very luckily for KU) into very long and very athletic. Travis and Little? Even longer at 6'6" and very athletic. The point is: Self is recruiting the best he can and he says he likes long and athletic guys. But they also have to be able to do somethings, master some fundamentals and possess some specials skills for the different roles on his team. Notice that there are no butter balls on the team. And recall that Sherron, though he had a weight problem from time to time, was an absolute athletic animal, who could have easily run with this team, no problema.

So after this long digression into book covers and contents, and acknowledging that Self biases recruits toward longer and more athletic, than less so, one is still left with the reality that, given what the cat drags in, Self still has to find three of these players to fill impact roles and one or two to be glue players, who have to be able to do a whole menu of glue tasks, not just pass.

And Brady is one guy with all of the tools to play glue, when he is clicking, and he came with a career 40% trey gun! That's good glue!

And this year, when Self had the Twins to be two impact players, and landed Selby to be his third, what he has needed more than anything is two glues (at least one, preferrably two that can drain the open look trey) on the perimeter that would play solid, low error ball, so that his three impact players with their sizeable MUAs, got the ball, before it was thrown away, and that defended well enough to keep the other team from scoring, and that shot the trey well enough to make'em pay for doubling down, or up, or sideways with perimeter help.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Well, nightmare of nightmares, Brady goes into a global slump near the beginning of the season, coughing up 3-4 TOs per game, having defensive lapses on ball he rarely evidenced in the past, even goofing up help, not getting garbage rebounds, and all the while Tyshawn plays well in most aspects of the glue game, but coughs about 4-6 TOs per game.

It is an Okie Baller's nightmare, at least an Okie Baller who has been winning 82% of his games in large part by winning the Disruption game of amping strips and minimizing TOs, so that you win even on your horrible shooting nights.

But Blown is holding his head and saying, all well and good, jay, but how do you know Brady's slump is winding down? Would you get to the point?

My point is: when you look at the glue categories anecdotally speaking, especially in last night's ISU game, he's back to doing everything that is needed, but for the trey shooting.

Passing accurate, snappy and timely (i.e., not sticky).

On ball defense solid, though not yet quite up to his best. One or two blow buys per game, which at 19 minutes is not quite good enough, but at 29 minutes is is life in the D1 fast lane.

Off ball defense: definitely getting the hang of helping in the higher paced play vs ISU, and definitely was the second or third best helper on the perimeter behind Tyshawn and maybe Tyrel against UM.

Garbage rebounds: a perimeter glue man needs to get 4 to have had a good night. He got 5 against ISU.

Stupid fouls: glue men are not allowed to make stupid fouls, as a rule, and Brady, who seems to have made every kind of stupid foul a perimeter glue man could make in the pre-conference portion of his senior year, cut it to one vs UM and cut it to none vs ISU.

Competitive fire: glue men need this every bit as much as impact guys, maybe more. Because Brady has sleep eyes and often a neutral expression, like was it Eric Sleepy Floyd used to have (surely like the eyes the incomparable dancer Gregory Hines had), Brady's competitive fire is often underestimated, and this underestimation is compounded by him being a glue man, which most board rats think means an inept guy who is someone who plays because the coach can't find another thrilling impact player.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

The last two games he is moving noticeably more confidently and assuredly, after descending in the 4 games previous to these two, to like a a guy who had no clue what was happening some of the time, and who was sure what he could do fit with this team this season. More than a few posters have made this arguement too--that he does not fit with this team's frequency, as slayr likes to call it.

Note: To a coach, to someone who knows the game and who understands glue, when Brady is giving his best glue, he is very thrilling to watch. Everything goes smoother with him at his best. The impact guys look more dazzling, because the ball gets there at the right place and time more often. The team defense looks more seamless, because the help defense is helping those who need help. And so on.

Brady is not the only one who can do this. EJ showed in the Memphis game that he could do it, too. But with Tyshawn struggling up a learning curve at the point, Self wants to keep EJ on the point and not confuse him with two postitions, as I have noted before.

To prove my point another way, and to lift this entirely out of the Brady debate, which is a stupid one anyway, why does the team look so horrible, when Tyshawn, or Tyrel, or Brady have off nights, and it merely looks like a cold shooting night when Mook, Kieff and Selby have off nights?

The answer is simple for anyone that understands the difference between impact and glue.

When the impact players perform badly, all that really happens is that the shots are not made, the spectacular plays do not occur. This leads to some losses for sure, but the team is still a welled oiled machine up to the point that the impact player can get it to fall.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

The team machine is still running, the passes to the impact players are still coming at the right place at the right time. The help defense is still helping who needs help and so masking the team's vulnerabilities to attack. The garbage rebounds are still being gotten on defense, so the number of second shot opportunities is still held down. Note: folks with shallow understandings of the game look at a game like ISU and say, "Wow! the bigs really denied them the offensive reebs." Wrong! The bigs did snap back to do their usual good job of rebounding, well, maybe still slightly below average, because TRob was in a black hole that Little only partially made up for. No, a big difference was the way the perimeter players went to the boards; that is a traditional Selfian way of cutting down an opponent's offensive boards and related second chances.

Brady 5 Tyshawn 4 Selby 2

That's 11 long boards right there and Tyrel's one makes 12--a good night for any big man. Some of the improvement had to do with total trips, but I submit he had lit a fire under the perimeter players before the game, too.

Now, bouncing a bit, one of the ways you know Reed is slipping into a slump is not just his shooting, which has sucked all season, but that he only got 1 lousy glassvac. If the slump is not arrested, the next thing to go will be his strips. Then his help defense. Then even his on ball defense may get shaky. Slumps are like old age. The longer they go on, the more you lose.

Brady lost almost everything in his extended slump. Self tried everything a coach tries. He let him play through it. He talked him up. He gave him a few extra FGAs to blood him. Then he started cutting his minutes. Then he put him in the toughening box and started shunning him. Then he humiliated him repeatedly with mop up minutes (it is only humiliation, because it is a direct insult to his senior status and pride in his craft), not because there is anything intrinsically evil about mop up minutes. For a scrub, mop up minutes are a moral good of high magnitude.

Brady is still not quite out of his slump, because he has not done everything against a good team and had a typical 40 percent shooting night for him. But just as you go into deep slumps gradually you have to come out of them gradually. Trend is everything in slumps. Going down hill, it does not matter if you have one game where you do one good thing. The key is are you in the aggregate still headed down hill, or are you in the aggregate headed up hill.

I say Brady is trending up now in the aggregate for two games and is now a game or two away from being completely out of it.

He is, shall we say, getting back to getting better.

Sorry I don't have time to really run the numbers. I've been kind of busy. :-)

Kurt Eskilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Damn, Jaybate. One right-brain work of literary art and one left-brain analytical treatise … in one long day. Thanks for your in-depth insight on "the glue guy" and his invaluable role among the impact athletes. Crystal Clear. I rarely have anything to add but my encouragement to the many wise and valuable posters on this site, but here it is again … Thank you.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

this was an excellent response to my question though.....wouldn't have expected any less!!

the picaresque reference reminded me of a novella picaresca that I had to read....Lazarillo De Tormes.....Maybe Brady is the Lazarillo of the team.

Steve Brown 10 years, 10 months ago

Omar Bradley was Geo Patton's glue guy.

Miami Heat had no glue to start this season is why they got off to foul start.

CP3O was R2D2 glue guy,

Custer had no glue hence given his head at little big horn.

bricks need mortar and we all need glue.

pecan pie needs glue too- it's the filling.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

lighthawk,

I knew there was a better way to explain all this than what I did.

Thanks.

jayhawktalk 10 years, 10 months ago

Was just thinking... Growing up, every guys dream of hooking up with twins and going at it.

...I seriously doubt getting humiliated on the court by the Morris boys was anything close to what the guys on the opposing teams had in mind. ;-)

One of many of life's little disappointments.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Jaybate: Yes, playing nice is probably more enjoyable overall. Passion for KU basketball .. just from different angles.

What I saw that Brady brought to the game Wednesday was a steady hand. Probably the best way I can put it. Steady. The ISU game was probably the height of Brady-positiveness, so to speak, this season. Forget the behind the back pass .. he's a man, not a machine. It happens.

See, my position on Brady has always been more about potential, than the here and now. ISU was great example of pushing the right buttons. Self clearly .. without a doubt .. made the right call on playing time to win the game. Heck, we're 16-0. Can't really question the in-game management. He wins. The micro.

The issue, and really the only issue, is whether by taking the path with more potential potholes, do we position ourselves better to get the pot of gold? March. The pursuit of the national title. The macro. Critical minutes. I am a big believer in experience. Experience permits one to react, not contract. Permits players to perform as if they've been there before, because they have. What I believe coach Self continually does is miss opportunities to provide critical minutes to EJ and Releford. And I believe coach Self does so because he places too much emphasis on winning every game. Now, of course, we all want to win. All the time. No one would purposefully lose.

But a coach must be "big picture." That involves risk to achieve improvement. Oxicaljayhawk made the perfect call .. Self has a "safety rotation" that includes Brady. Low risk. Comfortable. Win the game in the most reliable fashion he knows. But what I have been consistently in favor of is rolling the dice a bit and providing EJ and Releford critical minutes experience. Risk a loss or two. Why? Two reasons. First, regardless of the minutes pecking order, we may need them at critical times. Second, the belief that EJ and Releford, when developed, will/would significantly make this team better and would be real options in crunch time. Both guys that could become major players. And Brady appears to be the guy that really stands in the way of that development (no solely, but significantly). So that's why Brady becomes the lightning rod.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

(cont) Brady is the lightning rod, too, because he is the one player on this team that we can all generally agree is not going to get much better. We know what his best could be, and is. And at best, he is a solid role player. With everyone else, we can't say that, can we? Everyone else seems to have a more pliable ceiling.

And that brings us to the tournament. What many want is another option. We want to feel as if, in crunch time, we could have another option to win a UNI-type game. What many see in EJ and Releford are guys that could, in the right circumstance, score 15 in a crucial game when we need it ... when Marcus is in foul trouble, when Selby is 2 for 10, when Reed can't hit a three, when Dr. TT is Mr. Hyde .. another option. Brady, many see, is not that other option. He's not the guy that will step up and fill a void at a crucial time, in March, when needed. He might hit a 3 here and there, but not the guy that could do real damage.

It's not that Brady plays. It's that he's viewed as an impediment to progress, to improvement, to minutes, to another real option in March.

Jaybate .. your post above on Brady is detailed one, and some good points and analysis. But the question that I think your post begs is, What if Brady is not really in a slump? What if this is Brady? What if we get the bad Brady 3 out of 4 times vs. good opponents, as opposed to the ISU game? And how long does Self take to figure that out at the risk of limiting chemistry building as the season progresses .. pinning down his rotation? Last season would suggest that the "slump" may actually be, simply, the type of player he is. Inconsistent, limited, erratic, unproductive. Truly, I hope you are right .. that it is a slump. Because one of the things I feel relatively sure of is that coach Self is committed to playing Brady major minutes, and even if he has thoughts about "the other guys", when he gets in tight game, Self will break the glass, and insert Brady. After the last two games, I'm beginning to believe that this is simply the way it will be.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

Excellent post, HEM. I'm all for developing players & I would use this method if I were a coach. Just think about the 2007-2008 team. Those guys were thrown into the mix from day 1 on campus. They had to learn on the court. Maybe that's where they learned their sense of urgency to destroy every team they played.

I'm okay with playing players to test their limits, & find out exactly what they have....even if it cost the team a win. But, I don't think Self is. He hates to lose, and that is why he continues to use use his safety net. Nothing wrong with either appproach, they are just two different coaching philosphies.

jayhawktalk 10 years, 10 months ago

It seems we forget in these conversations that development can (and should) also occur in practice - both team practices and individual practice. Not sure I buy into the "risk a loss to develop players, as it is the only way to develop them" mentality. Not saying practice and in-game minutes are the same, but I also don't see this as an all or nothing proposition.

Note: We should be running the offense through our bigs ALL the time. If the guards on this team, other than Brady, made it a priority to develop their entry passing and to focus on it during the games, I doubt Brady would see the court, except maybe in specialty defensive situations, with the emphasis here on "maybe".

I'm all for EJ and Travis, or Mario, or . I am also, however, all for Brady, although I could have freaking screamed when he threw that behind the back pass.

"And I believe coach Self does so because he places too much emphasis on winning every game. Now, of course, we all want to win. All the time. No one would purposefully lose.

But a coach must be "big picture." - I'll let Self's career/ record stand on its own when measured against this statement. He obviously has any intangibles necessary to have put himself in a position as one of the top... 10 or so active college coaches. HEM, I often agree with almost everything you post, even if my perspective is different, but I have to say that I think this statement, while accurate as a statement of [big picture] importance, is completely off base in its implication that Self lacks this attribute.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

I did not say it was the "only" way, so I would agree with you on your point. But it is a huge part of it.

The simple example of a player shooting a free throw in the gym during practice vs. thousands of screaming, hostile fans. Executing when it is deafening. Performing when there is real pressure. I agree, skills, execution, etc., is perfected in practice .. but it is much different in practice, than in Ann Arbor, in the last 5 minutes, etc.

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