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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Self: No defense, no problem for KU on upcoming European tour

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Bill Self will spend a good portion of the six-month 2012-13 college basketball season stressing defense to his freshmen-laden Kansas University hoops squad.

For now, however, during the dog days of summer — and 10 bonus practices allowed by the NCAA in advance of next week’s European tour — it’s offense that’s getting all of the reps.

“I will say this ... we’re not going to work on defense one possession,” Self said. “We’re not going to talk about it because if our defense is good that means we’ll never score, and I have to somehow get these guys some confidence scoring the ball.

“I haven’t said one word about defense yet,” he added. “I am pretty confident we can teach them how to guard and that kind of stuff. That’s never been an issue, but scoring the ball with these young kids and getting them in the right place ... I think that is pretty important.”

Self has said his eight scholarship freshmen (Anrio Adams, Milt Doyle, Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas, Ben McLemore, Zach Peters, Jamari Traylor, Andrew White) will play extensively during a pair of exhibition games against the Swiss National Team next Tuesday and Wednesday in Fribourg, Switzerland and versus two pro teams on Aug. 11-12 in Paris.

The newcomers and veterans alike will have to play by international rules.

“It’s doing to be different,” Self said. “Twenty-four seconds isn’t a lot of time (to get shot off). Only having five seconds to shoot a free throw is a little bit different. Advancing the ball late-game situation on a time out is like the NBA rule,” he added of inbounding past halfcourt instead of the end line.

“I have to study up on it myself. I don’t know all the differences, but to be honest with you, we are not going to worry about that. We are going to go over there and play. I guarantee you we’ll get called for some violations where I’m going to say (to refs), ‘What did we do wrong?’ I don’t want to screw our guys up too much. If our guys think they’ve got to shoot it in 24 seconds, I guarantee you we’ll have problems when we come back to the States.”

With no gold medals or trophies on the line, the four games in Europe figure to be somewhat low-key — maybe high-scoring — affairs.

“If Jeff wants to shoot threes, he can shoot them. This will be a good time for him to get them out of his system,” Self joked of 7-foot inside player Withey perhaps launching a shot or two past the three-point arc.

Self may actually be more interested in the sightseeing tours for his players than the exhibitions.

“More importantly, I think it’s going to be a great educational experience for our guys,” Self said. “Winning is always important, but having an opportunity to go to Switzerland and France and hang out in Paris will be memories that will last all our guys’ lifetimes. I’m certainly excited for them to experience that, while at the same time get our basketball team a little better.”

Senior guard Elijah Johnson said the players realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

“To get out of the country for the first time, be able to play some ball, I think that will be exciting,” Johnson said. “It will be the first time to see what our team really looks like against competition. It’s always good to be able to just leave the country, in my opinion.

“I want to go over and have a good time and get to know everybody. I think if there’s a chance for us to get closer, it’s sending us over the waters together. We are definitely going to find out some stuff about each other. I think that this trip is going to be beneficial regardless, whether we don’t play as well, we are going to learn something. Or if we play well, we’re still going to learn something.”

Comments

Mike Hart 1 year, 8 months ago

First it was HighEliteMajor and BigManU.... Each writing their thoughts in 1800 words or more each entry onto this board. But now you guys did it... You woke up JayBate... The excessively verbose.... Human rain delay... Walking filibuster himself. Can the three of you find a chat room and put each other to sleep with your commentary and penchant for droning on and on and on?

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William Blake 1 year, 8 months ago

"Marathon Posting in August" will be shown at the Student Activity Center starting at 5pm and running until 3am. Spectators are advised to bring plenty of gatorgulp and energy bars for the enduring affair.

Rated "R"

Great energy, Jayhawkers... takes my mind off the heat stroke.

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wrwlumpy 1 year, 8 months ago

Thanks Jaybate for an entertaining morning. Watch the KU Athletics interviews of Withy, Travis and EJ as they talk about the Freshmen. Withy is impressed with Ellis, Travis wants a National Championship and EJ talked about his role a leader and what each of these future stars have to do to wear the Crimson and Blue. We the fans must also fit into the Marine mentality. The mentioning of the hardwood in Allen Fieldhouse being sacred is understood by everyone on this blog, except for the trolls which appear like Fred Phelps at a Marine's funeral.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

JB, you must have got an A+ in typing in high school or you've got some gorgeous, leggy steno starlet taking your dictation [no jokes, please].

If I may sum up Parts 1 thru 12....this season's squad will play just as hard as every Bill Self squad that has come before.

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texashawk10 1 year, 8 months ago

In other Jayhawk basketball related news, Sasha Kaun scored 3 points in 15 minutes in Russia's thrilling 75-74 win over Brazil in group play to move to 3-0 so far in the Olympics. Vitaliy Fridzon hit a 3 pointer in the corner while being fouled (not called) with 4 seconds left to seal the win for Russia. Russia next plays Spain on Saturday in what should be one of the better games in group play as the winner will likely win the group.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 12

And the Marine Corp Hymn, which seems so singularly identified with the Marines (in my mind anyway) turns out reputedly to have been "...a melody from the Gendarmes' Duet from an 1867 revision of the 1859 opera Geneviève de Brabant by Jacques Offenbach, which debuted in Paris in 1859," as cited in the rightly mistrusted, but still handy Wikipedia. So: even the hymn is about bothness.

And so Bill Self takes both his veterans and his "innocents abroad" and tries to take what is given, once more, an encounter with the utterly foreign Euro pro teams and game and with the unfamiliary to these players of Europe itself, into an encounter as always with the bothness of the world and the bothness inside us, and begins the long process of both building one Captain Johnson into not only a disciplined point guard, but now also now once again into a daring, audacious and explosive impact baller, and also one 2012-2013 KU basketball squad into a highly mobile, many stringed, unit of relentless offensive attack that will when the time is right, be taught to guard with their lives, too.

Both, see?

Rock Chalk!

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 11

The French awarded the 4th Marine brigade the Croix de Guerre, and that may matter most to the militarism festishists out there, but the more important and enduring honor IMO, was the French re-naming the wood " "Bois de la Brigade de Marine" ("Wood of the Marine Brigade"). To name is to institute reality, as poet Octavio Paz once noted. What was done there was thus instituted there. It is in joining the action and the place in name that the only true commemoration can occur. Thus there are places where the bothness of life occurs at such phenomenal intensity that they are become sacred, consecrated, no matter what others say and do there after.

The players will play on the sacred wood of Allen Field House this fall, winter and spring. It is KU basketball's sacred place of bothness.

It would be good for the players to see not only the Alps and Zurich and Paris, and French people, as the Marines so long before, the few who survived, saw them.

KU's basketball coach and his observe the practice of boot camp, a term and an approach to team work descended for better and for worse from the US Marine Corp. They play for a school, not just for themselves. They fight and sacrifice on the sacred wood. They play not only for their ends but to not let their buddies down. Sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, but always there is next.

Everything can build to a crucial moment and at the same time life goes on no matter what. Sometimes everything goes their way and sometimes they must operate with everything going against them. The greatness of their performances depends on both tangible physical talent and intangible mental toughness and competitive greatness. Thus they are, as all Americans are, part of the blundering, horrible and impossible and heroic beyond imagining legacy of the Belleau Wood--the better and the worse of it. Even as anti-hero Jimmy Dean once said caught between the bothness of youth and adulthood, between the child and the parent: "We are involved. We are all involved."

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 10

But the Marine assault on Belleau Wood and conquering of it were real. They took place in space and time and in a place that still exists. I have been there.

Ironically, in the sense of bothness that so suffuses life in moments of stunning drama and in moments of the mundane, the Marines at Belleau Wood were commanded by an officer of the US Army--General James Harbord--something almost unthinkable in the usual routine of the US Marine Corp. But there was nothing usual about this moment but its deep, abiding bothness.

I found this quote by Harbord on a Wiki page on the battle referring to Harbord's later dediction of a cemetery and monument to the Battle of Belleau Wood:

"Now and then, a veteran ... will come here to live again the brave days of that distant June. Here will be raised the altars of patriotism; here will be renewed the vows of sacrifice and consecration to country. Hither will come our countrymen in hours of depression, and even of failure, and take new courage from this shrine of great deeds."

I have been to Paris. I have been to Normandy and Verdun and Belleau Woods. I have been to the Rhine. I have been to the Alps and the Pyrennes. I have been to Burgundy and Provence and Savoie. I hope Coach Self takes the players to Belleau Wood. There are dead men there, under White Crosses and Stars of David, who somehow, in some incomprehensible way, did what still seems to me the impossible. I have only sensed this one other time. It was when I looked at The David by Michaelangelo in Florence. In both instances, one terrible beyond imaging, one beautiful beyond imagining, something impossible happened and for posterity, it was somehow good.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 9

But until then, the terrible truth is that amidst the insanity there is savage greatness, there are human beings struggling desperately and heroically just to keep a few buddies alive a little longer.

I hate war. I have never been in war. I am the off spring of a man that was in war and that would have been so much better off had he never been in war. Every person I have met who was in war would have been better off individually not having been.

I oppose most wars. I find few wars to have been worth the destruction and the dying and the mangling. I understand clearly that without the monetary incentives of war, almost all wars can be prevented. Wars are fundamentally about asymmetric taking of benefits by the rich and asymmetric shifting of costs onto poor, while enough persons can be made to believe that the future of goodness and family hangs in the balance if a war is not fought.

And yet the Marines of Bellau Wood prevailed in that wood so long ago now in a moment of the of extreme failure of leadership, in a moment of the worst possible circumstances, and in a moment when they had virtually no chance of prevailing. This is real. This is true. This happened.

Though trapped in the mists of history and memories of invisible clouds of mustard gas, though suffused with warranted tributes and unwarranted propaganda, though filled with self-promoting hype within the military and the Marine Corp itself, this event happened and these men did act and prevail above and beyond the call of duty. And all of the war lovers and all of the war haters, and all of the free riders on war, and all of those that don't have any opinion at all, cannot in the end obscure the fact that the wood was taken, finally by some men who would not quit for reasons we, even those men who have been in combat themselves, may ever be able to adequately explain. I know my father, who survived Bougainville, Guam and Iwo Jima, and who said there was no way someone who was not on Iwo Jima could ever understand what took place there, looked back at Belleau Wood and shook his head and he had no clue how they did it, why they did it, and said quietly only those that had been in the wood would ever understand it.

Reason and unreason are merely states of mind. Being right or wrong, beautiful and ugly, magnificient and horrific are all in the mind of the beholder ultimately. Even the judgement of heroism is subjective.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 8

Whether true words, or invented, damn that's a line only an American would think of.

But it was the late assault on Belleau Wood that welded the Marine Legacy with France that are young team is about to visit.

Losses had been high and the reserve Marines were as green as those that had been lost. Their commanders were not as experienced in some cases as surviving enlisted men in the field. A horrendous mistake was made by Marine leaders. The Marines, two companies and a battalion were sent attacking into the waist of the wood between two dug in German armies--parts of five German divisions--that were protected by the cover of the wood and their entrenched and bermed positions. The intended approach was to flank and attack one side of the wood. Instead, German machine guns from both woods caught the attacking Marines in cross fires and the Marine units were shortly slaughtered, but for remnants. At this point, the battle could easily have gone down as the greatest defeat and disgrace in the history of the US Marine Corp, and maybe of the US military. And to this date, despite historical white washing, it remains a stunning tactical blunder.

Yet the remnants kept attacking the woods, and then reinforced kept attacking at total of six times, at times without ammunition, at times just with fixed bayonets and at times only with fists in the face of machine guns. It should never have happened. It should never have been allowed to happen. There were almost certainly other ways around the wood. But in the end it did happen. And in the end the Marines prevailed, and the German southern defensive line in the area collapsed.

All war is insanity and waste of human life and human production. Don't think for a second I mean to glorify war when I write these kinds of pieces. I am glorifying the acts of individual human beings usually wrongfully placed into the insanity of war in the first place.

The institution of war, as surely as the institution of slavery, must one day be de-instituted forever, or humanity will perish from this earth. There is no other way.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 7

It is appropriate that Self, Captain Johnson, and his green boots are headed to France.

France and the Marines have a special bond from the Battle of Belleau Wood on the Marne River in France in World War I that most have now long forgotten.

Though the decisiveness of the American contributions to winning World War I, and especially some of the rationality of the tactics used, are questioned by no less a historian than the brilliant, but still decisively British Lidell Hart, some things are not in dispute.

At the time of the Marine's insertion into battle under French commanders ordering them to retreat into trench warfare positions, the Marines contradicted the conventional wisdom of the time, some say audaciously and bravely, some say naively and stupidly.

The Germans proceeded to release massive quantities of mustard gas on the Marine forces, which not only caused horrific deaths and injuries from burned lungs to the Marines, but also to many of the German forces because of unpredictable winds blowing it back on German lines.

Early on, after taking a position and being told to pull back into trenches, a Marine commander reputedly responded, "Retreat? Hell, we just got here." And the Marines were ordered forward by "their" officers and told to dig shallow fox holes and in essence fight to the death rather than pay for the same real estate twice. They did.

And later Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly, a recipient of two Medals of Honor who had served in the Philippines, Santo Domingo, Haiti, Peking and Vera Cruz, prompted his men of the 73rd Machine Gun company forward with the words: "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?"

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 6

Now, Elijah has to be unleashed as the natural force that he has always been. Now Elijah has to become all things to all teammates. Now he has to impact and lead, not just manage and distribute. Don't complain about the knee. Don't talk about the knee. The real challenge is not in your knee anyway. The real challenge is in your brain. Now you have to unleash the forces of nature in your mind...in a way that is both controlled and uncontrolled. Both, see?

Self is turning Elijah Johnson's world view and view of Bill Self inside out yet again.

They are going to Paris and concentrating on offense!

There is something profoundly right about what Self is doing here.

It is beyond explaining rationally in words. It is a stroke of coaching genius in terms of helping Elijah take it to the next level, of keeping him from getting too comfortable with the approach to each season, too stale from that same approach, and too focused on his knee.

You think we always start with defense, eh Captain Johnson. Well, I have got news for you, Captain. That was then and this is now. We start with offense now, Captain. We love offense like we love women with large breasts, narrow wastes, long sinuous legs, and lips fuller and painted more red than our mothers ever were, Captain Johnson. We love offense like bulls love to back dance on heifers, Captain Johnson. We live for offense. We think offense is the only manly form of self actualization left in this man's corp. We think offense comes first as naturally as a functional male wanting to meet and attempt to combine genes with Bar Rafaeli. Do you read me, Captain Johnson?

What Self appears to be doing is going to force EJ to become a new kind of leader for this young team; one that will be required for this team to become a fully effective, high mobility fighting force. Elijah Johnson is a high mobility weapon. If he is to be the hub of this team, then this team must become a high mobility fighting force in order to be in sync with Captain Johnson. To this end I believe Self is planning a high mobility scheme with his slender, high mobiility center and with his high mobility supporting cast of Travis, BenMac and the high mobility committee of Kevin Young/Perry Ellis.

High mobility is relative of course. In World War I, the green young US Marines inserted into the Marne River region of France moving on foot seemed high mobility compared to French and English forces by then used to hunkering down in trenches for long periods between ghastly slaughters.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 5

Americans and Jayhawks are difficult for foreigners to understand, because are so much of both. I am not talking American exceptionalism here. There just are some variations between cultures and countries, that go along with most of the similarities. Whether the most educated and privileged among us, or the most bitterly underprivileged, we seem to foreigners like a fat bunch of indulgent, unruly, barely civilized, nonconformist boys and girls, yet when put to the test we become hardened fighting men and women that can miraculously somehow follow orders and improvise in ways a lot of others do not. It is as if the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and their internal contradictions and checks and balances and defiances and loyalties, and their natural gods and just plain gods, are infused into us by Franklin, Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Hamilton at birth. We are all hopelessly different and hopelessly the same. We are a stew that keeps separating and coming back together depending on how much heat is put on it. We all believe and we all don't believe. We all know we will win and doubt we will win. We all like being both the underdog and the overdog. We are brave and scared. We are fat and skinny. We are ugly and beautiful. We are the few, the proud, the Americans, and we are that even when we shouldn't be. Its not optional being both.

Bill Self is taking his Marines to Paris. And he knows the old saw that after they've been to Paris, how ya gonna keep'em down on the farm? Its a risk he's willing to take.

Bill Self has a quiet officer deserving of a Jayhawk Medal of Honor for gutting it out last season on a blown knee. His name is Elijah Johnson. But Elijah Johnson knows that Sasha Kaun did the same thing before him, so he knows that though mere mortals on other teams could not do what he did, that on the Kansas Jayhawks of Bill Self, it is merely SOP. The difficult comes easy on Self's Jayhawks, while playing on an impossibly blown knee takes a little longer. Don't whine about a blown knee. Just guard and glue and keep scrapping to find some way to get better. Hell, if you can't get better at basketball, then get better at acting like a blown knee doesn't matter. But don't cry about it. It just makes the team more vulnerable and Jayhawks and Marines don't let their buddies down, Private Pyle, you got that. Yes, Sargeant Carter, but shazzam, if this knee don't hurt like Ernest T. Bass kicking Barney Fife in the privates.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 4

General Bill "Howlin' Mad" Self knows his Marines. He knows what makes them tick, down to the last hair on their you-know-what's. He knows which Marines are in danger of getting stale from hearing his usual Self. He knows which Marines he is going to depend on. He knows which of those that have gotten too controlled, too brainy, too rational, too hard...too not-both enough. He knows which ones have to go into the toughening box because they are not yet too controlled, too brainy, too rational, too hard. He knows that the key to a great Marine fighting unit is that they be both hard and soft, rote and intuitive, happily jaunty and with a mean streak, too. Mean and kind. Life giving and life taking. They have to defend and offend. They have to follow orders and improvise. They have to act with plans and act without plans. They need to be from Leawood and they need to be from Harlem. They need to be able to wear dressed blues, and they need to be able to wear filthy vermin infested cammies. They need to be able to say, "Yes, Mr. President, the Private would appreciate the First Lady's offer of some tea and a cookie." But they also need to be able to say (and mean), "We're going to take that objective and we're going to tear the asses out of anything that moves until we do." They need to be able to walk around in undressed blues with pretty white hats and darling little red stripes on the blue pants that guys where they come from would taunt them for being effeminant wimps for wearing (if they didn't know it weren't a Marine uniform), and they need to be able to walk through a whore house in Kandahar and find a buddy that has lost his self respect, disobeyed curfew, and otherwise fallen into a state of loathsome self-indulgence and take him back to base without either of them getting shot or court martialed. Marines and

Likewise, Self's Jayhawks have to be both. Both masculine and feminine. They have to be men and boys. They have to be who they are and what they are becoming. They have to be students and athletes, not because that is the norm of college basketball today, because it isn't. They have to be students and athletes, because that is the Self Way, the Okie Tao of Both.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 3

There will be no sand bagging for 30 minutes and playing all out for a win the last 10 minutes with this outfit.

There will be fewer grind it outs with this outfit.

This team is going to define itself as Self's first great high test offensive fighter attack aircraft that also defend the base; i.e., that also plays Self Defense.

Self will move the bar higher for this team, not lower.

Self has long been in the closet about offense. Self has long operated on "don't ask, don't tell" about his love of offense.

Self has gone all Arleigh Ermey for years on defense, because defense wins close games and defense is manly and defense is what gets you the chance to offend, and because Self was a better defender than offender as a hoopah himself. But inside every physical guy is a guy who wishes he could sky and go Nureyev on the opponents.

Yes, lest we forget, Arleigh Ermey, and every Marine who ever dropped his gun and picked up a rifle, masters that piece, learns to cherish that piece, and learns to shoot that piece accurately to kill enemy and stay alive, or else, the Marine is ordered to put on his pack and march double time until he does.

All real Marines like to think they can shoot the eye out of a gnat on the dead run between seducing some locals of the opposite gender. Even the BAMs think this way.

Yet, inside the cult of the machismo defense of Bill Self, is a Bill Self yearning for a creative, lightening strike offense.

IMHO, all men are as divided between the masculine and feminine sides of themselves as women are. Jung's Mysterium Coniunctus is substantially about this issue. In fact the more masculine, a man acts, or feminine a woman acts, the stronger I suspect is their opposite side of their personality beneath the surface....again, only IMHO. This has nothing to do with gayness, or straightness, or if it does, I do not intend it in those terms. I trust straights and gays who say gender preference is not choice with them, because I experience gender preference not to be a choice myself. I'm straight. I can't help it. If someone says they are gay and can't help it, it makes a lot of intuitive sense to me. And whether one is gay, or straight, it seems to me, one has masculine and feminine sides to one's personality. I have always found this to be so of all the gay and straight persons I have known. Masculine and feminine may not even be the best words to use to express the kind of bothness that exists in the minds of human beings, but its all I can think of right now.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

Part 2

He is taking Elijah Johnson completely out of his comfort zone, at the same time he is taking him to Paris and Zurich.

Elijah by the end of last season was just too good of a soldier. Too flipping disciplined. Too tunnel visioned. Too technical. Too do what the coach tells us and do it exactly that way.

Elijah had to be put through that phase to get his phenomenal athletic ability disciplined enough to fit in with players like Tyshawn "The Artist" Taylor and Thomas "Man and Superman" Robinson.

Elijah, the quintessential impact animal, had to be domesticated into a glue two for the good of a team thinner than mylar shaved in half with a surgical laser.

Elijah Johnson has been under the pressure of one of the most severe and demanding taskmasters in the history of D1 college basketball on a practice court for three, long, hard years.

Elijah Johnson has been from throwing a basketball cross court in a game into Self's hands in a brain methane riddled sophomore transition season, to one of a handful of the Marines that survived the Canal and lived to tell the green boots from Paris Island and Camp LeJeune about what the enemy will really be like this campaign.

Elijah Johnson now talks a bit like one of the brutally hardened leathernecks my Dad used to talk about meeting on the Canal when he stepped off the Luriline onto the dock to train on the just secured Canal for sailing up the slot to invade Bougaineville.

EJ's quotes at the bottom of this story betray the million mile stare at the new guys.

This is the look of the battle hardened veteran being asked to work with and lead a bunch of new boots that he doesn't know, that he doesn't trust, that he knows some will not survive the coming campaign.

This is the guy Self somehow has to knock the emotional callouses off of enough to get him to bond again with new men and lead them in to hardwood warfare.

This is the guy Self somehow has to re-mold into a fabulously creative firestorm of controlled improvisation--back into the greatest impact athlete he ever recruited--a leader tasked not with grinding it out with an undermanned force on an unknown island at a historical turning point in The Legacy, but instead into a leader of a fighting force amassing momentum again, a fully reinforced division, a bunch of can-do shave tails lead by a few great leathernecks who some how miraculously survived The Canal of last season.

Self has to turn purposeful, dutiful, order-following One Louie Elijah Johnson into a cock sure, brash Captain Johnson capable of leading his group with not only confidence, but audacious tactics capable of exploiting a fighting unit switching from a defense first posture, to a unit destined to treat every game like a high mobility, flanking and lightening attack campaign that will throw endless new bodies at each enemy, flank, flank, and flank them until they can be surrounded and annihilated from all sides.

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jaybate 1 year, 8 months ago

"Both, See?"

This story reads like Lewis Carroll interviewing the White Rabbit!

“I will say this ... we’re not going to work on defense one possession...” because we're late, we're late, for a very important date.

This story reads like Joseph Heller doing Colonel Corn explaining Catch-22 to Yossarian.

“We’re not going to talk about it because if our defense is good that means we’ll never score..." but if we score that means our defense is bad and that is good.

This story reads like Arleigh Ermey gone to Oprah Camp and talking with Dr. Phil at his side.

“I have to study up on it myself. I don’t know all the differences, but to be honest with you, we are not going to worry about that..." because this is a growth experience that will be very meaningful and open us up to like ourselves as people, not just as Marines.

Self is a genius.

Self is a genius.

He has more "Selves" than a cat has lives.

Elijah Johnson, his battle hardened leader, his Lieutenant promoted to Captain, his stud who played through a knee injury for an entire murderously under substituted season, the guy who truly has been to hell and back through the worm hole of his own knee, the guy who seems to have been here since 1953 and thinks he has heard every version of Bill Self, the tough kid from Gary, Indiana, Gary, Indiana, Gary Indiana, by way of Lost Vegas, probably the toughest Jayhawk on the team down at his zinc/nickel molten core, and THE very offensive phenom out of high school that gave up his gun to learn to play Self's caudillo version of mano a mano defense, Elijah Johnson is being asked to man up to...

"I don’t want to screw our guys up too much..."

and...

“If Jeff wants to shoot threes, he can shoot them..."

Self is a genius.

Self is a genius.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

Nicknames for the the Swiss National Basketball team:

1] The Watches............................................................................................................ 2] The Cheese Holes..................................................................................................... 3] The Knives................................................................................................................ 4] The Yodelers............................................................................................................. 5] The Neutrals.............................................................................................................. 6] The Ski Lifts............................................................................................................. 7] The Chocolate Drops.................................................................................................. 8] The Cocoas [their cheerleading squad would be the Marshmellows]............................... *9] The If You Want Us You Gotta Climb The Mountains To Get Us.....................................

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Phoggie_Thinking 1 year, 8 months ago

I really do think we need to look into paying these guys. Think about the hardship of traveling to Europe with little or no personal expense involved. Who do these guys think they are Olympians?

This is why pay for college play is so ridiculous in my mind. They are getting paid in a huge way in completely non-taxable forms.

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Tony Bandle 1 year, 8 months ago

Eat lots of cheese, chocolate and bundnerfleisch [wafer thin dried beef]!!!

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OakvilleJaybateNightmare 1 year, 8 months ago

Bill Self isn't worried about defense just yet because Ty and T-Rob's offensive production will be hard to replace.

KU's 8 freshman are all still freshman.

There is plenty of sight seeing to do in Switzerland.

European basketball rules are different.

Jeff Withey thinks he can hit threes.

Elijah Johnson is excited to leave the country.

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REHawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Looks to be a fun and relaxed team bonding trip. Self telling everyone not to get bent about wins/losses. Yeah, with that 24 second shot clock, guys will have to rush some shots and work toward finding openings. Probably lots of perimeter bombs.

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CrimsonAndBlueForLife 1 year, 8 months ago

When Self teaches his players defense, he needs to teach them the triangle-and-two. That was tough to figure out. The triangle-and-two got us to a Final Four.

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doolindalton 1 year, 8 months ago

Mark Randall was a heck of a basketball player and the '91 team was magical.

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Alohahawk 1 year, 8 months ago

Much as I'd love to see some streamed games, that's asking a lot. I'll settle for complete box scores: Shots attempted and made - two pointers, freethrows and 3's, rebounds, fouls, assists, blocks and turnovers. That shouldn't be too hard, I wouldn't think.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months ago

Is anybody from the LJW staff going to be able to stream the games? That would be awesome as I am very intrigued to see the youngsters play against some professional competition.

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Eric Mitchell 1 year, 8 months ago

I'd really like to see 5 Jayhawks on the All-Freshmen team for the Big 12(10). I don't think it will happen, but would be pretty sweet. Sweeter if we saw some Hawks on the NCAA Tournament team.

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Chris Shaw 1 year, 8 months ago

If Jeff Withey could pull off the "Mark Randall Mullet" and the "Downtown Terry Brown Release" that would make me a very happy man.

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Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 8 months ago

Wait a minute, hasn't JW shot one or two triples in the past ?? For some reason, I seem to remember him hoisting one and then Self was seen laughing...

Anyway, have a great time, Jayhawks!

Rock Chalk, Euro Hawks!

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Jay Dogger 1 year, 8 months ago

Someone please get video of Withey shooting a 3!

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