Thursday, January 12, 2012

Red Raiders suffer ‘good whipping’

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a shot over Texas Tech defenders Javarez Willis (5) and Jaye Crockett during the first half Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at United Spirit Arena.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a shot over Texas Tech defenders Javarez Willis (5) and Jaye Crockett during the first half Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at United Spirit Arena.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 81-46 victory over Texas Tech on Jan. 11, 2012, in Lubbock, Texas.

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ESPN video

Highlights: KU vs. Oklahoma

— Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie was able to summarize Wednesday’s 81-46 Big 12 basketball loss to Kansas University pretty well in the first five words of his news conference.

“Just a real good whipping,” the first-year coach said.

After leading 18-17 with 5:42 to go in the first half, the Red Raiders started to come unraveled right after 6-foot-6 freshman Terran Petteway picked up an intentional foul and ejection at the 5:01 mark following contact with KU guard Conner Teahan.

Gillispie said he didn’t wait for an explanation from the officials.

“I really wasn’t in the mood to be listening to it,” Gillispie said. “They called it, and we suffer the consequences, whatever it is.”

Following that foul, KU ended the half on a 15-2 run to take a 35-20 halftime lead.

“I think we might have focused too much on the technical instead of just playing our game,” Texas Tech sophomore Jaye Crockett said. “ ... You can’t just dwell on that one thing.”

Losing focus was far from the only problem for the Red Raiders, who scored their fewest points since a 66-45 loss to Kansas State on March 7, 2007.

“Very, very few times did we execute plays,” Gillispie said, “or make the right pass on time, on target.”

Gillispie’s game plan offensively centered around trying to get the ball inside, whether by driving or passing.

It didn’t work. The coach was frustrated that his team couldn’t establish any interior presence, as his two starting forwards — Robert Lewandowski and Jordan Tolbert — combined for six points on 3-for-10 shooting with five turnovers.

The two came in averaging a combined 22.4 points per game.

“They basically play the same defensive rules that we play,” Tolbert said. “They just play harder than us.”

The loss was the Red Raiders’ 17th-straight against a ranked opponent. Gillispie fell to 1-3 all-time against Self.

“Give all the credit to Kansas,” Gillispie said. “They’ve got a really nice team and were able to do whatever they wanted to on both ends of the court. We didn’t give them any opposition at all.”

Gillispie also left impressed by KU junior forward Thomas Robinson. After posting just five points in the first half, Robinson finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds in just 19 minutes.

“We did a really good job on him early,” Gillispie said. “But they just kept with it for 40 minutes, and that’s a lesson our guys need to learn. They didn’t start out very well in the game, but they just kept on, kept on, kept on executing with discipline and guarding with discipline. And over time, if you do that, you’re probably going to be very effective.”


kellerman411 6 years, 5 months ago

Am I the only one who notices Kevin Young's defense? My god. I mean the guy works hard and competes but he literally assaults the opposing player with his hands non stop. I have to believe that this drives Bill Self absolutely bonkers, especially with a guy like Young who is long enough to defend well without reaching. Great win tonight, hopefully this helps propel us into the difficult games we have coming up.

Bob Thompson 6 years, 5 months ago

I think Kevin's defense is like that because of practice. KU "had" a short supply of practice players, and they had to try to put as much pressure on the starting 5 as possible. I remember coach having the subs hack the starting 5 before the K-State game. When you practice hard like that, you end up playing like that.

KGphoto 6 years, 5 months ago

EJ has gotten on him pretty hard for it. I thought the two were gonna fight for a second during the Oklahoma game.

Bill Klein 6 years, 5 months ago

Kevin Young used or uses his hands so much because he isn't moving his feet. Observing him i have seen him getting beat on switches where he then uses his long arm length and hands to catch up. His talent is tremendous and with some more hard work, look for him more in games where he can match up to certain opposing players. Noticing last night early, many times our guys were getting beat on switches out top and never recovered as the TT man drove to the basket.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 5 months ago

Good eyes...but its obvious Coach Manning is getting him to work on it. He has really developed in several areas. A work in progress w/high potential.

Ted Toulouse 6 years, 5 months ago

Have noticed this for a while. He's a hacker and doesn't believe in his feet yet on defense. He'll get it though, you can see the talent is there.

Ted Toulouse 6 years, 5 months ago

Have noticed this for a while. He's a hacker and doesn't believe in his feet yet on defense. He'll get it though, you can see the talent is there.

LngTimeFan 6 years, 5 months ago

Young will be a real stud, getting better every game. And, hey TT, nice game.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

"hey TT, nice game" ... I just don't get it.

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm not sure how to react to Billy Clyde putting in his bench guard who is deaf. On the one hand, he was giving the guy some minutes in a game with a No. 10 team who was pounding them so what's the harm. On the second hand, maybe he thought our guys would play with less aggressivness and the score wouldn't look so bad if we slacked off. I respect the player and TTech for his making the team. But, what if there were an inadvertent elbow that caused him some serious injury?

Jory Collins 6 years, 5 months ago


That doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Anybody can catch an inadvertant elbow and get injured. The guy can't hear, doesn't mean he's any more susceptable to injury than anybody else. And I have a hard time believing Billy Gillespie would EVER make a strategic move hoping for sympathy.

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 5 months ago

Please re-read my comments, jc. I did not imply that he was more susceptable to injury. My point was that his implants could be damaged in a situation where an elbow to the head, ala the Franshilla kid, would inflict more potential damage than someone without the implants. Secondly, I didn't imply that Gillespie was hoping for sympathy by putting Adams in the game. From a strategic standpoint, I was suggesting that he could have felt an advantage would be gained through our players feeling less likely to play full out guarding Adams, thereby allowing Adams to put some points up that he is fully capable of doing. Not a bad strategy, but not certainly not a shameful one either, if that was his motive. Intimidation comes in many forms and good coaches understand how to maximize their team's potentials.

Garry Wright 6 years, 5 months ago

I believe that with the implants he can hear.

RockChalk26 6 years, 5 months ago

If you noticed that "Bench guard who is deaf," was the only Red Raider to knock down a three. Did you ever think that was the reason why he was in the game?

railer20 6 years, 5 months ago

I don't know how to react to you questioning putting in a deaf kid? Just because he is legally deaf means he can't play? Obviously the kid made the team for a reason and has every right to be out there playing. The kid knows there are chances he is taking, but how is that different than any other player taking a chance every time they step on the floor. Plus being the beat down it was, why not reward the kid for his efforts and let him play against a top 10 team. I bet when we play in the PHOG that people will give him the same ovation he got at TTech last night.

baldwinjhawk 6 years, 5 months ago

We always Played KSD when I was in High School. Definitely do NOT feel sorry for them. The only thing that doesn't work is their ears. But they always seemed to be more focused and paid attention in other ways.

6 years, 5 months ago

The announcers were saying last night that Luke Adams averaged something like 27pts per game during his senior year of high school, so he is a legitimate shooter. Here is a link to a nice article on him from last year:

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the insight. Adams is truly an inspiration.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 5 months ago

Inadvertent elbows cause many injuries..and are not overly noisy. Not meaning to sound like a smart-ass but injuries effect all players. I'm sure he has found ways to compensate.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 5 months ago

Impressive...two uses of "puns".

"overly noisy" and "meaning to sound"

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 5 months ago

I am sure that Terran Petteway learned an invaluable lesson last night. He does not strike me as a mad kid who would make a habit of what he did. I wish him the best and hope that KU fans are cordial when Tech visits AFH.

lee3022 6 years, 5 months ago

Perhaps the best and most respected college basketball statistical site is here:

They have Kansas #2 to Ohio State as of 1/12/2012

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

I had seen some discussion that Tyshawn is improving, and "gets it" now. Even some that think he had "nice game" last night.

Count me as one (who has been around the game my entire life), who respectfully disagrees.

Look no further than the first half last night -- in order: 1. Loses the ball on a drive from the wing. Turnover. 2. Drives to the hoop, shoots, air ball, then whines that he got hit on arm .. hitting his own arm to demonstrate .. as if to explain the air ball. Rewind shows no contact. 3. Drives to hoop and misses from point blank range. 4. Drives to the hoop, off balance, fall on his back, garbage shot, air ball, again whining about no foul. 5. Another off balance drive and miss. 6. Gets inside the free throw line and makes a 13 footer. 7. Turnover at half court leads directly to a Tech hoop. Then he flops his arms around over his head at the dead ball like a little kid. 8. Misses open 15 footer. 9. Commits a foul, then gestures with his forearm as if he got pushed pushed, again whining about his failure. 10. Drive to the hoop in traffic, throws it up, gets blocked but then tips in his miss. 11. Nice pass to Young for a slam 12. Hits a three.

That's just the first half. The guy shoots 14 times last night -- the second half was of course a bit better, but still had two just head scratching turnovers.

Why do you think we struggled so much in the first 12 minutes or so? The point guard runs the team. He sets the tone.

What is completely perplexing, unbelievable, and beyond reason is that on TT's drives to the hoop, he never dished. Didn't drive a drop. No penetration with a lay off to a teammate for an easy hoop.

His play is selfish.

We will never know what this guy costs us with the ball in his hands, because it's speculation. But it is reasoned speculation.

Supporters or apologists, or those that just don't want to be negative, will point to the positives. This has nothing to do with the positives. We know the positives. And sure, sometimes the shots fall. Sometimes.

But from a consistent, game in, game out, grind it out perspective, this out of control, selfish stuff costs this team more than his positives help us. It's been like that from day one.

KuKain 6 years, 5 months ago

Well, lucky for you the season is half over and then he'll be gone. TT is TT and if he hasn't changed in the past 3.5 years he's been here, then he sure as hell isn't gonna change in the last .5. So rest easy my friend, after this year you will no longer have to make ridiculously long posts crying about TT's play.

As for me,I'm gonna enjoy watching him for the last part of the season knowing that at anytime he can turn it on and be the best guard in the nation.

labbadabba 6 years, 5 months ago

"TT is TT and if he hasn't changed in the past 3.5 years he's been here, then he sure as hell isn't gonna change in the last .5."

This is sort of the problem. I for one was hoping to see T2 evolve into a RusRob situation. Based opon offensive statistics he and Rus Rob are nearly identical but if we all recall, RusRob was not used as an offensive threat.

Can T2 turn it on? Yes. Can he have incredible games? Yes. Does his play directly affect the team as a whole? Most definitely, good and bad.

T2 is a double-edged sword just like Sherron Collins with less of an upside.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with a lot of this! That first turnover of the game is just fustrating as hell. Makes me want to scratch my eyes out. It's one thing trying to create and have a turnover trying to get the ball to a teammate off a tip lob, or getting in the lane trying to get a kick out pass for a 3 in the corner or wing.......................................

But trying to create a 1 on 1 situation on the first play of the game going baseline is mindboggling. Like you said, KU was out of sink literally for the 13 minutes of the game, but that first turnover literally got KU out of whack for the first 6 minutes of the game right before the 14 minute mark. Once Relly got a few buckets did KU start to show any signs of life of getting it together.

Jeremy Wilhelm 6 years, 5 months ago

To me the frustrating thing about that first TO was that he was dribbling with his right hand with the defender on his right while driving baseline. IF that's the risk you need to take to drive, you better damn well pull up and wait for the offense to get set so you can run a play. The only way that play was excusable is if he was in a position to seal his man on his right hip and ride to the hoop, and he clearly wasn't. I appreciate being aggressive, but what TT needs to do is slow down a step or three. Just take what the defense give us and quit trying to force stuff. I keep holding out hope that he will manage to bottle the stuff he had going at the end of the year against Texas, but I'm more doubtful of that possibility all of the time now.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

This is an absolutely awesome post. It is little things like this that have caused his problem. Like the deal last week where TT had been told by the coaching staff not to cross over from a standing position, then he does it twice in the KSU game and gets picked both times. I'm sure he's been told exactly what you observed .. many times .. but it doesn't click.

Sam Brockert 6 years, 5 months ago

You know 90% of the people on this message board can claim we have "been around the game our entire lives". Just by watching basketball your entire life you can claim that... So, saying that does not hold much importance to me.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 5 months ago

The truth though, like it or not, some people's opinon is held to a higher standard because there are some that have done more than just watch the game.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 5 months ago

That's why I only focus on the 5 percent on these boards.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

chiefs386 .. the statement of being around the game sometimes is a bit hollow. I agree .. I did not attend the statement to mean just watching.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

"intend" not "attend" .. might have to look my English up on-line to see what I mean ...

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

Just a follow-up ... I get that we can whine about it and it's not going to change. But that's the same about everything posted here.

High frustration with poor, selfish point guard play is my perspective. Who else does this? Find a team, or a player.

The picture above is a great example .. 4 Tech defenders, two collapsing directly on him. Do you think someone might be open? And we know he missed the shot.

And to KuKain .. you are simply living in a fantasy world. You would even whisper .. "The best guard in the nation?

Shaw -- I think we're out of sink because of our point guard. The first 13 minutes last night was a case-study.

drgnslayr -- I would get it if we were talking Roy Williams' system accepting a lot of turnovers. His premise (one I love) is run, run .. you'll get some TOs by being aggressive but make up for it by more possessions (the part I don't love is the lack of defensive focus). But that isn'tSelf's offensive approach. It would seem that Self's system is a possession-valuing system. Turnovers should be much lower. How do you see it causing turnovers? Back on TT .. yes, we win. But I would say that it would be really difficult to dispute that we gained our halftime advantage in spite of TT being on the floor. His play is like an anchor much of the time. We won that game because because of our overall talent. I just see this out control play as coming back to haunt us in a big way, when it is most important. But no doubt it can turn positive on a dime. Very frustrating.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 5 months ago

HEM-I agree with you and that was kind of my point in my post about TT and his first initial turnover. :)

Jack Wilson 6 years, 5 months ago

I appreciate the the postive nature of your comments .. yes, it does help. Your perpective is always a good one. I seriously just want that guy to do well (TT). I mean it would be so satisfying to see the guy really get it, turn it on, be the type of player the entire free world knows he can be .. and have a nice profitable career in the NBA. It is hard to see a guy with so much talent seem to squander it by failing to do just a couple of things that can help him turn the corner.

I think, really, that coach Self has done him a disservice by not being a complete hard-ass, benching him, demanding under control play, etc., early on. In hindsight, we could .. could .. have a different player, and he could have a different future. He still might have a career in the NBA. But the chances could have been much higher.

Mike Bratisax 6 years, 5 months ago

I see improvement and its still trending upwards...but its not always pretty.

Does he get it?

I think he knows what's expected and he has the skills needed but he he isn't there least not consistently.

He still makes the same mistakes he made as a freshman, though not nearly as often and now he throws in the spectacular from time to time.

If he stopped the dumb TOs and the lazy passes....I could live with the rest.

Kye Clark 6 years, 5 months ago

HEM - I thought the same thing regarding his play last night. On the in-game thread I got chastised for sarcastically asking who's fault it was for our team not picking up any of these "tyshawn bricks = assists via offensive rebounds + put-backs". His complete inability and/or refusal to dish off the drive is the number 1 thing that frustrates me about him. It's because, as you have said before, he has a scorer's mentality. Maybe he developed it living in the shadow of Sherron and seeing how celebrated he was during his time here, as a scoring point guard. Follow that up by all the hype Josh Selby brought in as a scoring point guard out of high school. Tyshawn wasn't a big scorer in high school. 10 ppg his senior year if memory serves. I, like you, always harken back to his "I finally got mine" comment last year. Regardless of the reason, he is not a prolific scorer. He can be effective when he plays within himself. He can have prolific scoring games when the opposing defenses allow it. But it's not something he should be looking towards as a goal game in, game out. It's utter selfishness that he so very rarely looks to create offense for his teammates (directly, not through his bricks) off his drives.

As to the statement that there is no depth to replace him with, this is true. I do believe though that we could be marginalizing Tyshawn's down-side by letting EJ run the point and moving Tyshawn to the 2-guard. You would immediately lose 2 turnovers/game from the dribbling off the leg, getting his pocket picked at the top of the key, etc. EJ looks to create off of his drives. Tyshawn was the beneficiary of one such drive last night. EJ drives the lane, kicks out to Tyshawn, Tyshawn's lane is open and he drives in for the hoop.

Anyway, I've said much of this before. It's doubtful anything will change, either within Tyshawn and the way he plays the game or with the line-up situation. At this point it's just venting frustration, at the way things have gone, the way things are going, & the way things are likely to continue.

David Howell 6 years, 5 months ago

HEM, I agree with most of what you pointed out. However, I am not buying that TT now "gets it" ! The only thing TT will generally understand is getting put on the bench. Unfortunately, EJ hasn't given coach much or TT any reason to be scared of spending much time on the bench. Tharpe did look better last night. But it was one night and against a bad bad team.

What TT needs to realize is his importance in involving his teammates as he drives to the hole. Once he repeatedly involves his teammates, then his lane to the bucket should be easier. For now it's simple for the opposing team to crash on him and only him most of the time.

I haven't been paying attention to his FT % lately, but for some time there it was pretty bad and it seemed that TT was showing a very nonchalant attitude when he was missing ..........

Tony Bandle 6 years, 5 months ago

I know it's early but the conference personna is starting to materialize.

1] Cellar dwellers, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and TAM are awful and should count as 6 victories or shame on us. 2] Middle of the pack K-State, Oklahoma State and Iowa State - three home victories and at least two road victories goes for 5 of 6 3] Top tier, Baylor, Missouri and Texas, minimum of split at 3-3.

That totals 14-4.. The problem is, I'm not sure anyone but Kansas is capable of beating Baylor. Even if we sweep them, they may still end up 16-2

All thoughts and opinions greatly appreciated!!

KGphoto 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm not putting Texas in the top tier yet. I think K-State is considerably better than them. And I'm also not willing to put TAM in the cellar yet.

Missouri will probably handle Baylor at home, and then Baylor will lose one or two inexplicable games, maybe to TAM, Iowa St. or Texas.

I bet it's gonna be a mess at the top, right up until the last week.

Justin Carlson 6 years, 5 months ago

My take on the final B12 standings!

Baylor OKST win @#10 KU Loss

9 MIZZ Still pouting over 1st loss of season Loss #2

@OKLA win TEX win @TA&M win @OKST win

10 KU

@#9 MIZZ Loss ISU win

18 KSU Loss (Frankie comes through for us!!)

@TEX win OKLA win TTU win @ISU over look game loss 13 - 5 Baylor

KU losses at Texas, Missery (UGG!) Baylor, and KSU (Bad stretch losing 3 out of 4 games! But right the ship and win out 14 - 4 the ISU game Scares me though!

I would have to say I have no faith in Scott Drew he has a way of jacking stuff up in the middle of the season but easily could finish 15 - 3!

Should be fun!

TT please play some team ball you are not increasing your NBA draft status by driving into the lane with your arse on fire thinking the lane is a kiddie pool!!

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 5 months ago

1) You realize that we have a better winning percentage at the Octagon of purple stupidness than we do at Allen Field House, so don't count that as a win for the purple headed step child. 2) Of all of the games that are on the schedule, Bill Self is going to make sure we win home against MU and the other one is on the road against MU, we will win both of those games. 3) The three games that are going to be the toughest are @Baylor, @OSU (Bill Self struggles to go home and beat his alma mater, and @UT (they always play us tough). I see 15-3. 4) We will defend our home turf.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 5 months ago

PS Did any of you catch the cleavage shot of our strengths coach last night???

I think we need to change her name to "Hotty"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Martin Rosenblum 6 years, 5 months ago

Actually, I was noticing her other upper body development. She obviously practices what she preaches. Arms and shoulders were impressive.

REHawk 6 years, 5 months ago

Ms Andrea certainly does add glamour to camera shots of our bench! HEM, I enjoyed your thorough post today re TT's first half of play. I come away from some of our games almost bewildered that our point guard can muff so many plays, yet we continue to post such terrific seasonal winning stats. Tharpe has been presented with constant weekly opportunity to step up for escalating minutes; but, sadly, is not yet proficient enough to grab the brass ring. Elijah sometimes plays like a robot, without the forward energy to help turn things around when backcourt play flounders. Bill Self continues to post wins, coping with and juggling the screwiest lineup that any coach of a Top 10 national program could imagine. But, hey, we forge forward as one of only two undefeated teams in the Big 12. And we seem to rise to the occasion when big plays and moments are called for....

jaybate 6 years, 5 months ago

"Red Raiders Raided, Spaded"

Spaded as in buried.

Had the first half right--lots taking what was given and close. Had the second half wrong. Who can flipping forecast 9 % trifectation.

Is there something about Self Ball philosophy, or mental preparation, that predisposes it to these anomalously horrid trey nights, regardless of who is coaching it?

Self gives EJ a wake up call, but the Prophet keeps napping.

Conner takes a punch, and shoots 2-6 from Trinitron.

Tyshawn forces a few, but keeps the pressure on while his mates struggle.

KY offends well again, but gives up on defensive footwork and becomes a hand checker, which works in the whistle swallowing stretches against lesser teams, but...

Justin now being locked down by his own mind.

Travis stays a rock.

Jeff proves he's not just tall, but can elevate too.

Bringing new depth to the word freshman point guard, after his usual immediate blow by on defense, Naadir gets fiery hot from trey, when KU is supposed to be playing the clock and not humiliating Self's friend.

TRob has foul trouble the first game after Self says he hasn't been having foul trouble

And this KU IMF (impossible mission force) keeps blowing out lesser teams, playing tough against good ones, and collecting road wins like head hunters in New Guinea collecting shrunken heads.

Rock Chalk to these mighty Jayhawks entering the stretch where the season feels like a long march.


Play hard.

Stay alive.

Stay together.

Collect wins.

One at a time.

Destiny rides with you.

Debbie Mangen 6 years, 5 months ago

I think you are not giving TT a lot of the credit he deserves. Many of his turn-overs are just silly, but when he drives to the lane a lot of his mission is to draw a foul, usually on the player on the other team who is giving us the most trouble to keep from scoring. He makes his freethrows. Last year, he would drive in, toss it up and let Marcus or Markeiff go get it for a dunk. Withey and Robinson aren't as good at doing that as the Morris were. I've seen this over and over again with Bill Self coached teams. If someone is hot, go get him off the floor by drawing fouls. Some times it works better than othesr, but Taylor does get to the free throw line a lot by doing just that.

jaybate 6 years, 5 months ago

"Net Advantage: Putting TOs and Some Other Stats in Perspective of Team Vs. Opponent, While Still Scratching One's Head"

Being part quantoid, whenever people talk about scratching their heads over puzzling phenomena I search out a few bench mark stats and see if I can see anything simple that explains what is going on, thereby reducing the scratching.

Today Coach Self talks off head scratching about some of Tyshawn's choices driving the ball.

Today, many board rats riff on this with concerns about Coach Self, Coach Self's system, Tyshawn, worries about how all these TOs will get us sunk in March, and generally seem perplexed and bumfuzzled by this team continuing to win with guards that seem so inelegant in their ball handling.

Today, I grabbed stats for UK, which so many live in such fear of, because of their vaunted length, athleticism, and star-ratings, and their coach who lets them play his gimmick offense that "let's 'em play."

Here is what I learned.

KU is winning, even with a largely inexperienced team, even with reputedly little depth, and even with two guards who seem inelegant in their ball handling, because Self has schemed this team around getting net edges over opponents, however inelegant it may appear to be being done, in some crucial stats.

Without putting too fine a point on things, Self is opting for good defense at every position, rather than good ball handling, and as a result, his team is achieving net advantages over its opponent's who may be prettier at handling the ball.

And obvious possible flaw in my analysis is that I have not indexed these stats for number of possessions, as in TOs per possession per game. Rather I have worked with plain old TOs per game.

jaybate 6 years, 5 months ago

So shoot me. I am thinking for free here. :-)

Here goes.

Turnovers Per Game:

School/TOPG/Opponent TOPG/Net Advantage KU 14.5 15.6 -1.1 UK 13.4 14.1 -0.7

Inference: In this stat, you want to have less TOPGs than your opponent, and so you want the difference between your TOPGs and the opponent's TOPGs to be as big of a negative number as possible. The biggest negative number wins the comparison. To wit, KU may make more TOPGs than UK, but KU's defense forces opponents to make significantly more TOPGs than UK's defense does. So: KU's edge in TOPGs over its opponents is just slightly less than double that of UK's over its opponents. Score one for KU's inelegant ball handling, but good defending team.

Steals Per Game:

School/STLs/Opponent STLs KU 7.8/7.2/ +0.6 UK 6.9/ 6.4/ +0.2

Inference:In this stat, you want more SPG than your opponent, so the team with biggest plus number over its opponents wins the comparison. KU's Net SPG advantage of +0.6 is three times that of UK's +0.2.

Rebounds Per Game:

School/RPG/Opponents RPG/Net Advantage KU 39.1 30.1 +9.0 UK 41.1 33.1 +7.0

Inference: In this stat, you again want more RPGs than your opponent, and the biggest net advantage possible. So, the team with biggest Net Advantage in RPB over its opponent wins the comparison. KU's net rebounding advantage is +9.0, and UK's is only +7.0. KU holds the clear advantage yet again.

Blocks Per Game:

School/BPG/Opponents BPG/Net Advantage

KU: 5.5/3.5/ +2.0 UK: 9.2/3.2/ +6.0

Inference: In this stat, the biggest net advantage over opponents is best. UK wins this one category hands down by having a net advantage of +6.0 BPG compared with KU's +2.0 BPG net advantage over its opponents. UK's net advantage in BPGs is 3 times KU's.

jaybate 6 years, 5 months ago

Overall Conclusion:

KU holds decisive net advantage edges in 3 of 4 categories considered: turnovers, steals, and rebounding. Note that each of these categories triggers a 100 percent chance of a change of possession. Holding net advantages in these categories means you get more opportunities than your opponent to score.

UK only holds a decisive net advantage edge in blocks. Note that blocks sometimes result in a change of possession, but often not. The key to whether blocks are a decisive advantage worth holding depends on how much they rattle another team. Do the blocks cause the opponent to shoot worse after the block? Do they cause the opponent to shoot worse generally out of fear of being blocked? Or does the opponent quickly adjust its shot selection, and degree of arch, in ways that minimize the intimidation factor of blocks? Clearly, KU's first encounter with UK, when KU was an inexperienced team with TRob on a bum knee, and with lots of players that had not gone up against that kind of link, the shot blocking became a decisive edge for UK. KU shot only 20-25% from trey, for one example.

But as KU becomes battle hardened by March, and as it gets more and more used to finding ways to play to win in the face of all manner of different kinds of physical challenges, KU should become less likely to be intimidated by the shot blocking abilities of UK. They should be able to scheme to contend with that shot blocking ability, which should erode UK's advantage in this category.

And while UK will get better defensively as the season goes along, so will KU and so UK is apt not to close gap much on any of the net advantages KU holds in the other categories.

I will predict a KU win over UK the next time they meet right now, if they meet in the Madness, but that is not the point of this analysis.

The point of this analysis is to try to explain how this team can be doing so well with so little depth and such inelegant ball handling.

jaybate 6 years, 5 months ago

The answers are:

KU may make unsightly TOs, but they make other teams make more TOs.

KU may get stripped, because of unsightly ball handing, but KU strips opponents even more.

KU may not dominate the paint and rebounding the way they have in the past, but they do out rebound their opponents.

KU may not block with the frequency of a UK, but they do out block their opponents.

It seems to me that Self made two key decisions last season, and two this season that have enabled this team to play the way it does, despite its shortcomings.

Last season, believing Selby was likely to be an OAD, Self consciously committed to grooming Tyshawn and EJ to be ball handling guards this season despite their limitations in this regard. In essence, Self decided that he wanted these two potentially great defenders, two potentially great penetration guys, and potentially good trey shooters, starting this season as his guards and ball handlers, no matter what the cat dragged in in recruiting. Self, the defensive maniac, decided he wanted to field the greatest possible pair of defensive guards he could. He wanted to field two guys that could impact on offense against anyone. And he was willing to put up with the ball handling to get these qualities. Now, you could say in hind sight that he had no choice, but Self was hunting for guards to the bitter end and took a flyer on Naadir in case the ball handling got too awful.

jaybate 6 years, 5 months ago

The next big decision he made came this season came when he found out he was not going to have Traylor in the paint. Self decided that he wanted to go tall and stay tall opposite TRob, no matter what. To this end, he pulled Kevin Young away from the 3 position, even though losing BenMac, too, meant he was going to be thin, thin, thin, on the perimeter; that he was going to have to count on only Conner for backup on the perimeter. Pulling the skinny Kevin Young from his natural position at the 3, and making him play the 4, meant Self was gambling everything on staying "defensive" at the 4 no matter what. It meant skinny Jeff Withey was going to start and Justin and Kevin were going to spell him. It meant Self was going to play a 6'8" 185 pounder at the power forward significant minutes, plus a 6'9" 220 pounder in Justin, too. It meant the emphasis was going to be on defense at the 4, guarding the position with height, not with brawn, nor was scoring going to be expected. Self said, "We start long, and stay as long as we can, no matter how skinny we get."

The decisions above meant Self the defensive savant was, when his back was to the wall with adversity in recruiting, going to live and die with defense and offensive impacts, and endure the inelegant ball handling all of these players seem prone to.

KU loses when it gets "sped up" too much and its inelegant ball handling makes too many TOs and its formidable defense gets to spend too little time defending.

Self had an ingenuous insight about opposing offenses in this day and age. More and more of them like to slow it down and run the motion, run the Princeton, run what have you. They like to use the clock.

Self appears to have said, "Great, I create a super defensive team with the athletes I have, and I will condition them to play defense for the full 35 seconds and the longer they offense tries to run the clock the more chance my guys have to steal, block and force TOs." Go ahead, keep us on defense; that's our strength.

jaybate 6 years, 5 months ago

I believe this is why a long, athletic, high-powered transition offense like UK's, an offense that wants to get out and fly, and score in transition, gave KU fits, coupled with UK's shot blocking abilities. UK's blocking and defensive rebounding triggered transition against our inexperienced team. The more transition scoring that occurred, the less opportunity there was for our defense to get into half court and play to its strength--to force more TOs, to strip, and for our rebounding to hold even, or build an edge.

If we conceptualize just a bit, it appears Self is trying something strange and perplexing--a grind it out defense with an impact offense.

He is trying to turn KU's defensive possessions (and that is the right term for a Self team's POV of the role of defense--a possession), into grind it out, where you have to play his defense as much as possible, so that the defense can force a TO, get a strip, a rebound, or a block. It is not fundamentally different than what he has always done, but it seems to me an even greater emphasis than ever before. I would love to see a comparison of time of opponent's possession this year with other seasons. I have a hunch that opponents would have longer possessions this season.

And he is trying to turn KU's offensive possessions into shorter holds, less working it in for a good shot, more drive it to the iron impact plays.

It is weird, but it almost seems as if Self were trying to reduce the time of offensive possession so that fewer TOs will be made, fewer strips will occur, and more fouls will occur stopping the clock so KU will have more time on defense.

I know this seems like madness, like turning the game of basketball on its head, like inverting everything we know about the game, but this seems like what he is doing.

And as I have always said, Self is a savant about taking what he is given, rather than trying to force things to accustomed ways.

He long ago threw tempo-setting out the window, unless someone else gives tempo-setting to him.

He long ago threw away motion and picks and screens in the traditional sense of these activities on a basketball court.

Hell, now it seems like he is throwing away the idea that time of possession on offense is a virtue.

Its the damnedest thing I've ever seen.

Its so strange that even thinking I may have a handle on what he is up to, still leaves me scratching my head. :-)

Perhaps Self has lost a lot of hair, as we all suspect.

Perhaps he has done all of this just to make us scratch ours till we lose as much as he may have.

Perhaps we're all going to be bald, when Self sneaks off with another ring. :-)

Rock Chalk!

lee3022 6 years, 5 months ago

According to today's national college basketball statistics KU ranks #2 overall to Ohio State at #1. On defense KU ranks #3 behind Ohio State and Wisconsin. On offense KU ranks #11 behind Florida, Syracuse, Missouri and others.

In the eFG% category KU ranks #28 on offense and #7 on defense. In 2-point FG% KU ranks #17 on offense and #5 on defense.

I think what I see in all the stats is not totally super in most but in the top 10-25 consistently across many areas. The weakest areas are 3-point shooting at #133 on offense and #115 on defense and FT% at #169.

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