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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Keegan

Road test exposes Kansas’ thin bench

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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' 72-64 loss to Iowa State on Jan. 28, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson

KU players Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 72-64 loss to Iowa State on Jan. 28, 2012.

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KU vs. Iowa State

Box score

Illinois and Indiana combined for 153 points in a Big Ten game just weeks ago, and the 10 starters scored every one of those points.

TV timeouts every four minutes make a bench less crucial than it once was, and with even longer breaks in the NCAA Tournament, the value of reserves can be overrated.

Still, it sure is nice to have a quality bench when the need arises.

With personal fouls mounting and starters struggling to score in Hilton Coliseum, Kansas University’s basketball team needed a bailout from the guys who don’t get to hear their names announced to the crowd before the opening tip.

It didn’t happen, and KU suffered its first Big 12 loss, 72-64, to Iowa State, which closed the game with a 20-11 run in the last eight minutes, 10-5 in the final 2:18.

Bill Self distributed 29 minutes to his three chief reserves — guard Conner Teahan and forwards Kevin Young and Justin Wesley. In 29 minutes, They responded with five points, two rebounds, an assist and a turnover. They made two of 12 shots.

In the loss to Davidson in Sprint Center in December, the bench logged 48 minutes and contributed six points and 10 rebounds on 2-of-11 shooting. They had one assist and four turnovers in that one.

Duke? Scoreless in 30 minutes, no rebounds, no assists.

Detect a pattern anyone?

It’s not that the starters are responsible for all the season’s big victories. Young sparked the Jayhawks to a huge nonconference win against Ohio State. The game before that, Teahan caught fire and played a huge part in a victory against a tough Long Beach State squad.

Both of those games took place in Allen Fieldhouse, where the home crowd fueled the home team.

Typically, in basketball, the better, more experienced players display the least slippage on the road, the reserves the most. The road also is where a strong bench is most important.

Players get called for more fouls on the road than at home for a couple of reasons. One, fatigue sets in easier when the home crowd isn’t with them to pump them full of adrenaline. A tired basketball player doesn’t move his feet as well and doesn’t focus as well, two factors that lead to fouling. A second factor — or should it be first? — has to do with how referees call games. Everybody seeks approval, and even though officials try not to play favorites, they are human. Their innate desire to be liked kicks in, even if only on a subconscious level, and the close calls tend to go in favor of the home team more often than the visitors.

Fatigue and foul trouble make reserves needed more on the road, where they are less equipped to get the job done.

All that is a long way of stating that Saturday could prove to be just the beginning of rough times on the most challenging road stretch of the season. It started with Ames and — with home games mixed in — continues with trips to Columbia, Waco and Manhattan.

Asked the obvious question of whether he needs to get more from his bench, KU coach Bill Self gave the obvious answer.

“Uh, I think that would be affirmative,” Self said. “We’re not getting much at all, and we’re playing guys too many minutes. We’re not getting much from our bench at all right now.”

A better offensive than defensive player, Young had a rough day in Hilton, hitting just one of five shots and misfiring multiple mid-range jumpers.

“I’ve got to knock that down,” Young said. “I shoot 100 of those a day, so there’s no excuse why I can’t make that shot.”

He looks less than 100 percent comfortable on his new team after spending two seasons playing for Loyola Marymount.

“I wouldn’t say 100 percent,” Young said. “It takes time, but I’m getting there.”

Teahan has made six of 29 three-pointers in his past seven games.

Wesley has more personal fouls (52) than rebounds (44) or points (34).

Freshman Naadir Tharpe’s tendency toward the quick turnover has kept Self from including him in the rotation.

On most days and nights, the bench will perform better than it did in the past three losses, but how much better?

Comments

REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Conner might benefit from work with a sports psychologist at this stage. His production potential is still very valuable to the progress of this squad. Word is that he still is a deadeye gunner in practice sessions.

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KansasComet 2 years, 2 months ago

I do not believe Teahan is in a shooting slump. I believe this is what we get with him. He can be an outstanding shooter in AFH. He is a front runner - nothing more. I do not say this to slam him. I say this to be honest. His shots seem to go in when we are comfortably ahead. I honestly think that in the back of his mind, he probably realizes he shouldn't be out there for as many minutes as he is. I will say this again for all to read. I have nothing, repeat nothing against the young man. He just plays better in cupcake games. It is time to accept this. I appreciate Teahan's efforts, but he is not good enough for the amount of minutes that he receives. Time to stop making excuses. Tharpe is talked about for making turnovers, however he is not out there long enough to get into the flow of the game. This young fella can play. He needs the opportunity. I wonder what his stats would look like if he actually played 15-20 minutes?

As far as Coach Self is concerned. Every year it seems like he has at least one kid on the team that frustrates us on minute and thrills us the next. Whether it is Rodrick Stewart, C.J. Giles, Micah Downs, Brady Morningstar, Tyshawn Taylor, Kevin Young or Teahan. That is just the way it is.

I do look forward to seeing Teahan on "Senior Night" . His speech will be very special. I am glad that he came to Kansas University and gave his all. I think that he just has too much on his plate for his skill set. No disrespect.

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 2 months ago

Uh, yeah. KU has a thin bench. Our starting 5 may be one of the best starting 5's in the country, but our bench is probably one of the worst. It's going to be exposed several more times this season in conference away games.

Teahen is a 3-pt specialist that is in a slump. He doesn't contribute a whole lot on defense or other aspects of the offense, so we're just going to have to deal with that lack of production whenever one of the guards needs a breather. Kevin Young and Justin Wesley are incredibly inconsistent. They have their moments, though. Naadir will be good next year, he just needs more experience.

We knew that this season would have it's down moments, primarily due to KU's lack of depth. Fear not, though. KU is still good enough to go deep in the NCAA tourney this year (with some luck), and next year KU will be stocked to the brim with talent.

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jayhawkintx1973 2 years, 2 months ago

There has been a tendency of players coming off the bench (Teahan) who fire the ball up at the rim from 20 feet the first time they touch the ball.

On Saturday, KU lost the game, but Iowa State didn't play particularly well. Our guys didn't play their game. The last 10 minutes was ugly.

Why did we not get T-Rob the ball? He doesn't necessarily have to get it right on the block. Get him the ball a couple feet out from the block and make the defender have to come at him, then if the guy on the wing closes in, throw right back to the wing, then reverse the ball, set a back screen.

Sure, other teams know we do this, but there is a 35 second shot clock. They have time to make that other team play help side defense 4 or 5 times. This game was not because Iowa State played well, our guys just played bad.

If they're playing behind you on the block, it should not be hard at all to get T-Rob the ball, if T-Rob stepped out about 2 feet and then drop stepped to force the help side defender come over, then dish it off to Withey. The defense will learn, that if we execute, it doesn't matter if they rotate a guard onto Withey, Withey will win that matchup every time. Iowa State was not tall.

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Rock_Chalk_NYC 2 years, 2 months ago

Keegan is dead on.

That said, lets regroup from the loss. Good to see KY putting up 100 J's a day. We need our bench to be more productive. (Captain Obvious, I know)

We'll be fired up to be at Mizzery Saturday. KSU also... that leaves Baylor on the road... ok, tough one. We take 1 or 2 of those 3 and hold court at home and conference champion banner #8 in a row hangs in the fieldhouse!!

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yates33333 2 years, 2 months ago

For some damn reason I can't put this after jaybate's comments, but once again he is solid and right on. (P.S., this is not an arse kiss job. I haven't the foggiest about who he is.)

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Momanfan2015 2 years, 2 months ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vMfqo... One of the most pathetic things I have seen in a good while.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

jaybate, a fabulous post. Metaphorically powerful.

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kranny 2 years, 2 months ago

Move KY to the 2 or 3, let him handle the ball and shoot the 3. He doesn't have the meat to post up.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 2 months ago

For the record, this is what I believe:

1) Coach Self is doing a fantastic job and I don't disagree with any of the posters above that he shouldn't be up for COY with the talent and roster he has on this team. IMO, at this point of the season.............he should probably get it. It also doesn't mean we as fans can't critique or analyze different components of this squad to make them better.

2) I think Self's minutes for the starters is increasing at an alarming rate

3) I think Self's bench minutes are decreasing at alarming rate

4) 2 and 3 need to be managed differently

5) CT is in a slump-My suggestion is that he needs to have a little more and realize how fun the game of basketball is. He's putting too much pressure on himself as Jaybate suggests and IMO Coach Self needs to help shoulder, hide, or take some of that pressure off of Teahan. Have fun Teahan!

6) KY's minutes are so up and down I truly believe it's taking a toll on his mindset. He's saying all the right things in the media which shows his good intentions, but Self is trying to find some consistency from him. IMO, I just think it's hard to find consistency in 2, 3, and 4 minutes in consecutive games.

7) Recruiting is down.............doesn't help that McLemore and Traylor aren't playing.......This........we know! Let's figure out how to deal with the guys that are currently playing and producing for this squad.

That's all I got for the moment!

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KULA 2 years, 2 months ago

Interesting to see some of my sentiments of the past couple years reinforced on this board--that Self wasted opportunities (of which he had many, considering his average margin of victory the past couple years) to develop his bench (EJ, Withey, Travis, etc,) and build their confidence in game situations. There's no substitute real game experience.

Here's a little more food for thought: Anyone else wonder what kind of contribution Royce Woolridge could be making this year? And who put the bug in his ear that there simply wasn't going to be any playing time for the next couple years after Ben Mac declared? I know I'd sure take the son of an NBA star who averaged 30 pts/game in HS coming off my bench over a walk-on.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 2 months ago

Jaybate---

Very good points and analysis. Never get tired of your posts {when I have time to read them}.

Ha---just messing with cha!

Rock Chalk back at ya.

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

Now is the time where everyone has to do whatever they can, no matter how awkward, no matter how many problems may occur, no matter how hopeless it looks at times.

Supplies are thin.

Man power dwindles.

And the injuries have not really even begun to crop up yet--not the ones that make players miss games yet. Some soon will.

"Things are going to get hard."--Bill Self

You better believe it.

The troops are exhausted. Several are in slumps. People are playing injured that we probably don't even know about.

And yet the real battle is only starting.

Its going to get hand to hand.

The opponents know our weaknesses now. They sense we are vulnerable now. We were bloodied in Ames. The sharks circle.

Every hand will be called on to shoulder a rifle eventually.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Sempre fi.

Rock Chalk!

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

So: it was Conner's turn to feel the savage effects of being forced to keep shooting, even when you are already in a slump you cannot yet get out of. Conner went 1 for 6 and looked bad doing it. He saw them clank. He saw his teammates eyes. He saw his coaches eyes. Of the two players that could be asked to take six treys and miss 5, Self chose Conner against ISU. The next game it could be EJ again. Everyone wants to be the Top Gun. Everyone imagines for years on end of being the guy who makes it rain from outside to win the game. No one out on the play ground role plays missing five of six, while already mired in a long slump late in a season when they are already stretching the envelope of their physical and psychological endurance. And no one has a clue of what it is like, until they actually do it. And no one but another Top Gun knows what it feels like to have "the job" of missing.

And consider that Conner has never played a full season before, so he has never had opposing coaches study him like the CIA profiling a dictator targeted for regime change. Each game they are finding new flaws. This happens to each first year starter. EJ's shooting slump and relative offensive ineffectiveness until ISU, no doubt has to do with the same kind of flaw finding and struggle-to-fix-its. Conner and EJ are both having to alter their games from game to game to fix weaknesses opposing coaches keep exposing on both ends of the floor.

So: the object here is not to throw in the sponge on Conner, or EJ, or anyone else on this team, including Naadir, for this season.

Naadir absolutely will get thrown to the dogs again and he better realize that. Its coming, as sure as death and taxes and bad situation comedies.

The object is to find bailing wire and band aids that buy time for each first year starter, up to and including Thomas Robinson, to try to find fixes to their flaws exposed by other coaches, and to coax the various first year rotation players, like Conner, to come out the other sides of slumps, no matter how deep and long.

This is much harder than last year, because Self has fewer experienced players to draw on and talent falls off faster among subs.

But the difficult comes easy. The impossible takes a little longer.

There is no option to bench anyone playing significant minutes now.

There is no option to having to throw Naadir to the dogs from time to time.

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

Self knew his man power and its contributions, and he knew EJ was more important to get re-rigged first. He triaged Conner. Self must also have believed that of the two players, at the stages of their careers, that the fifth year senior might also have a slightly better chance of recovering from being forced to keep shooting and missing despite fatigue, and fear, and cascading errors in the rest of his game.

Most of us cannot imagine how stressful it would to be playing big minutes your first starting season in D1, and to be having your coaches and teammates looking to you, expecting you to carry the load, and not being able to get it done.

Imagine what Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey felt like as the game wound toward the end the second half and their coaches had told them at half time that they had to get on the glass, and they had given it their all, and they teammates had been watching them, and waiting for them to take back control of the back boards and Thomas and Jeff knowing that they had completely failed to do so.

It must be as excruciating as it must be exhilarating to succeed in whatever task the team needs.

But bad rebounding doesn't stick out to fans nearly as much as guys shooting and clanking from down town. Bad rebounding is kind of invisible to the casual eye. It doesn't jump out till you look at the stats.

Self decided to withdraw EJ from the psychological hazards of massive shooting failures he had been enduring at .288 made. He had to. He could not afford to lose EJ's defensive game. Fatique makes cowards of us all, but extended missing exiles us East of Basketball Eden, to the land of doubtful Nod.

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

The answer seems relatively straight forward to me and it is not that he is lousy. Conner is being asked to more than he has ever tried to do on a basketball court. The problem is that on this team, Conner is being asked basically to back-up the 3, the 2, and the 4, when the team goes short, which it has to do sometimes, not just the 3. Even Brady wasn't asked to do that. The last guy that Self asked to do that was Brandon Rush!!!

Now do you get why Conner is struggling so much as exhaustion and the fear it brings sets in entering February?

Did anyone notice that our starting 3, Travis Releford played 40 minutes against Iowa State, and Travis maybe still in a boot?

Travis is swinging 2/3. Conner is swinging 2/3/4. Travis, miraculously, is holding up, despite the injury.

Conner, and this is no criticism, just a statement of fact, has cracked a little. Lots of people crack. But the ones with character--the ones on a team fighting to stay alive--those players scratch and claw to find a way to put it back together with the help of their leader and their teammates. I believe Conner is already doing this. And will never give up.

I believe he has the right stuff. I believe he is fighting for his basketball life here and it could get worse before it gets better. Playing multiple positions on a team with a 1000 page play book is a great challenge for any glue man. But playing multiple positions and being expected to be the come-and-give-a-spark trey dinger is apparently very hard on shooting concentration.

To state some facts, rather than excuses, every game Conner has to prepare to guard 3 positions and about six players, plus he has to learn the new wrinkles Self is throwing in for each game and each opponent at each position. There are several players that could not do it at all, even for one game.

Conner has blown a small neural gasket. You can see it on his face, when he comes off the floor. He is battling confusion, not physical ineptitude, or bad shooting mechanics. On the floor, he is thinking, not reacting. And its late January and he's more tired and sore than he's ever been. So are TRob, Travis and EJ. But they've got a lot more athletic ability to work with. And the only one of them being asked to stand out their and launch trinities as regularly Conner, is EJ, and he's been struggling right along with Conner.

Notice that of the two players--Conner and EJ--Self tried to take the pressure off EJ first, Self backed EJ down to only three treys versus ISU. EJ responded well, making 2 of 3. It was Conner that was forced to take six--to keep shooting and missing when he was not hot.

Make no mistake; that was calculated on Self's part.

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

Of course, KY is the logical guy to go to play some 3, but Self needs him at the 4, and KY shows no signs yet of being able to consistently carry the water at one position, much less two.

So: Self has to buy KY another two games, or so, as the first backup inside, before Self can even think about asking him to backup the perimeter, also.

Hence, Jordan.

Jordan is likely going to get a shot, because Conner and his confidence are circling the drain. Conner isn't going to be benched instantly; that would be condemning the team to being overrun immediately. But when he makes a mistake, Self is going to bring Jordan for a few minutes, to get the starter the short blow he needs, and get Conner out of his own head. If Jordan dings a trey, lack of height and speed and all, Jordan is going to buy a few more minutes. Then the starter comes back, then Conner is coming back in the next time an extra trey gun is needed. Any mistake by Conner, though, and Jordan enters immediately.

There is going to be preying in fox holes and its not just going to be the devout Jordan, but every man carries a rifle from now on, because the starters are wearing down, as they and Self knew would eventually happen. From the beginning, the strategy has been to steal as many wins as possible before exhaustion set in. Get to 17-3, preferably 18-2 with a win over Davidson, and then start taking some losses in this grueling ten game stretch of Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday games and Saturday-Monday games.

But back to Jordan.

The idea is not to turn Jordan into our number one back up, though anything is possible under the coming XTreme Circumstances on the Canal. The idea is to bring some semblance of order back to Conner's spirit, to truncate his sense that he is the last man, to get him to stop thinking and start competing for minutes. This brought Brady out of his funk in short order. It is a reality check any player needs occasionally.

The question that needs clarifying for some is: why is Conner, who seemed to be able to do a serviceable back up job early, seemingly circling the drain now?

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

Self is already starting. There was a reason Self called on virgin Jordan Jeunneman late each half, only to have the half end, or to have him step on the floor for just a few seconds the second half. I could be wrong, but I suspect Jordan was being mentally prepared to begin to see some action against OU.

Jordan can shoot in practice; that's why he made the team as a walk on. He can carry a rifle. He's not as good as Teahan, when Teahan is on, and not in a confused funk, but Conner is not on, and he is in a confused funk.

Self has to take some pressure off Conner by letting him watch Jordan play some of his minutes. It could be ugly, but he's got to do, unless Conner turns it around the next minutes he plays.

Conner has apparently slipped into the trap of thinking he was the only guy that Self could turn to. It made him press too hard, try too hard, think too much. Conner is going down the Brady Morningstar drain that lead to one game where Brady, the three year rotation player, was playing mop up minutes. It was shock therapy. it worked.

Conner is headed the same place and Self is going to take him there, if he can afford to vs. OU. Self is going to dose Conner with a sense of having his minutes sharply cut, unless he comes out with trey gun blazing and accurate.

Jordan! Oh, no, not Jordan, the weak kneed, bench-Teahan choir is already gasping between serial infarcts.

Oh, yes! Jordan J. I said at the end of last season and over the summer that Jordan could well be seeing some significant minutes this season. Jordan got a few looks early and showed little, but did little harm. Subsequently, developmental minutes were not given him. Instead, they were dished out to the new boots--Naadir and KY and Justin to bring them along ASAP.

No doubt the thinking went, if they could perform, with their physical abilities, there would be no need to resort to Jordan.

But Naadir circled the event horizon, then black holed.

KY showed nothing, then a lot vs. Ohio State sans Sullinger, then a few so-sos, then up and down most recently.

Along the way, Justin's graph went steadily up, then the last four weeks, his fouling habituated, and his modest confidence eroded and Self began to play KY more and more despite KY's increasingly up and down play. KY can score. Justin has not been able to. So despite Justin's further advanced, but foul-a-minute defense, KY keeps edging up the PT graph in hopes of getting bench points.

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

"Its Going to Get Hard and Every Man's Going to Have to Shoulder a Rifle Before Its Done"

A number of fans here should not apply for duty as captains of ships, leaders of platoons, CEOs of troubled corporations, or even troop leaders for the Scouts. :-)

In an off game, badly out rebounded, and victimized by asymmetric foul calling favoring the home team, KU lost on the road by only 6 to a solid team with a very good big man with a very good coach.

Put another way, Iowa State caught KU on a bad day in their crib, with the refs homing, and even then could not blow KU out.

Based on the above, some fans are sounding the klaxon for abandon ship?

Good lord, what would these fans have done on Guadalcanal?

KU is, in a very metaphorical way, on The Canal. We have been all along, people. I drew this analogy way back in preseason.

Things have been going our way for longer than expected, but, as Self said so aptly of the coming stretch of games, "things are going to get hard."

When Self uses the word "hard," an ordinary person may substitute "a fight for team survival that it is not guarantied of surviving," or "anyone who wants to quit the mission, do it now, because from here on out there is no turning back."

KU has made the very best of things so far, had some luck, had some guys play much better than expected, toughed through some slumps, but listen up; that did not mean we were magically lifted from the Canal to VJ day, or even to the heady late days of island hopping across the Pacific.

Board rats that focus on what our bench didn't give us the last few games and then talk about benching Teahan, or benching KY are not facing the reality of the situation.

We are on a big dengue fever and malaria infested island jungle and there is no ability to withdraw and start over. We are what we are and where we are. And calling us short handed and then saying bench Teahan, or KY, are not solving any more problems than shooting a buddy in the back, because he froze in the first couple of skirmishes after fairing okay early on.

Work the problem, people. Use the pieces you've been given. Clean them. Oil them. Recalibrate their sites. Position them better. Dig in deeper. Wishing for more pieces is not going to keep this platoon from being cut to shreds, because the ships sailed for cover. There aren't going to be any more resupplies. Getting more out of what we have is the only way. Anything weapon that breaks, fix it. Or use it for a club. But don't throw it away, for chrisssakes, because you never know when we are going to be down to hand to hand.

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

The thin bench is a reality. Traylor was to split time between Withey and TRob, and TRob himself said BenMac is good enough to be "gone" in 2yrs. That=likely impact players sitting on the bench due to the ncaa rulings.

These starting 5 can run with anybody now (not true at season's start), but the bench is made of players who each has significant deficiencies, and if they arent doing their "role" (main job) well, then they become a net negative in a hurry. Self could hide the bench only so long, and as he said prior to the BigXII conf season: "now we will play big-boy ball".

Another fact is that no team will play above 95% efficiency/energy every-single-game...just not possible-->not even the '08Champs. Others here have commented on coaches picking 'certain games' to get a team "juiced" or "amped up" or "all geeked up"...if they did it every single game, the inspirational lockerroom speeches become repetetively mundane/familiar.

This team is very precarious with non-starters trying to run the offensive plays. Its frankly an outstanding coaching job just to have the record we do, eventhough it is absolutely sickening to think of how we played vs. Davidson. IowaState was a 2 possession game, and every possession is priceless when you are losing the rebound battle. The missed dunk, the missed lob-dunk to Withey, and 3trips in a row with empty possessions (2 Conner missed3attempts...) just about sealed it. Although a superhuman 20+ game from one of the stars could have still saved us. Close game. The Davidson "performance", however, was inexcusable. Neutral-site game vs a mid-major...very tournament like...(much more worrisome). The Davidson loss is by far the worst loss to me (worse analytically-speaking than Duke, Kentucky, and IowaState).

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danno1313 2 years, 2 months ago

Young, Connor and Wesley are awful. This team only has 2 legit starters. Tyshawn and T Rob. Elijah is okay at times as is Travis and Withey. Those guys barely see the court at Duke, UK and UNC. We need 5 star guys every year and the Reed. Morningstar guys to compliment them now and then. I see at last 3 more loses in the conf. I didnt have high expectations anyway, but it is KANSAS!

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Michael Sillman 2 years, 2 months ago

Self is doing a great job overall but I think he can be legitimately criticized for the bench development. As I posted a couple weeks ago Self went for sure wins rather than play Tharpe, Young, and Wesley. That is his prerogative as coach.

As far as Teahan, Self has no choice. You must have a 3 point shooter to open it up for Robinson and Withey. Connor is it but he is going thru a tough stretch. I think his defense is adequate to spell Taylor and Johnson. At least his shot is soft and has a chance. Johnson is putting up some real bricks

I actually really enjoy this team and look forward to the rest of the season since the outcome is a total mystery.

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dgaskill 2 years, 2 months ago

And the reason we have a thin bench is the NCAA committee shafting that KU got the last couple of years. We have two guys waiting till next year that could really contribute! They are sitting because........"They went to too many schools" ?

Why can't KU shoot the basket ball mid season? It was like that even when Roy was coach. Perhaps it's injuries and Ku starts facing better 'D' as the year goes on.

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yates33333 2 years, 2 months ago

So we got beat! The main question is whether this says something about future games on the road against the top teams of the Big 12 or whether Iowa State just beat us in Hilton. The test will come soon and will no doubt determine where KU ends up in the Big 12 and how it gets seeded in the NCAA tournament. I suspect a 4 or 5 seed. I hope for a 2 or 3 seed. I think a 1 seed is no longer possible.

We really do lack of bench. Teahan's play does hurt, as does Johnson's. But as the old adage goes, you play with the hand you a dealt.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

I, for one, certainly do care about league wins! Those conference titles are gold; anything more...just more gold. Bill Self's dilemma in the pre-league portion of the season was to try to mold a cohesive unit out of Tyshawn and 4 previous bench players. At that juncture, Tyshawn was not maintaining the focus which we recently have witnessed. Part of that was because the starting unit was so raw and out of tune; part of it, Tyshawn being Tyshawn. Self hadn't the luxury of allowing newcomers to develop; although some of us urged him to play Tharpe and Kevin, even at the expense of possible non-conference losses. However, we had to prepare for Kentucky, Duke, Georgetown, Ohio State, teams which might have blown us off the Div. I map and damaged chances for successful future recruiting, not to mention Jayhawk reputation. Ergo, newcomers got very limited minutes to develop. I was a blatant Naadir Tharpe proponent, almost hurling Bud bottles at the TV screen when he was not inserted, or was quickly yanked. But his subsequent turnovers and poor judgment regarding shooting and the time clock seems to justify Bill Self's lack of confidence in him...altho perhaps the kid is now entering games in a mode of shellshock, knowing that he is walking a gangplank. Whatever, we are now at a stage wherein the bench is almost a nonfactor. Lingering injury to a starter, and it will get ugly. But 17-4? Wins vs. Ohio State, Georgetown, Baylor, and a near win vs. Duke? A 7-1 league record, to date, given the cards dealt us? A very successful season, so far. Most posters predicted that our 3 or 4 probable league losses would at least tie for the title. Shakily, we are still on course. I hope to see T-Rob's spirits zoom back to full smiles. This has been a tough ten days for him. Rock Chalk!

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manginorh00lz 2 years, 2 months ago

No one cares about regular season win records. We need a developed bench to make it to the Final Four, something that Bill Self has shown he is incapable of doing. He is great at winning regular season games, but when it counts in the tournament, he chokes year after year because he never let the inexperienced, but more talented, bench players develop.

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bville_hawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Did we play any zone yesterday? Seems like it might have been useful to 1) protect Jeff and Thomas from fouls, and 2) as a counter to their isolating Royce White and letting him go one-on-one.

As a general rule I am a firm believer in man-to-man defense but the zone does have some utility. It's always worth a try, some teams have a difficult time attacking a zone especially if it's just put on for a couple possessions here and there.

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cajayfan 2 years, 2 months ago

Beginning of the season, I thought 8 losses. Now, I think seven. I would like them out of the limelight for a bit, so it is not so thrilling to beat us. Every team gets up for us. We now neeed to start getting up for every team. Cause frankly, we're not the best out there this year.

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SuperheatedRecords 2 years, 2 months ago

Bench Teahan. He isnt driving, he isnt cutting he isnt playing defense and he turns it over. Anyone can throw up a three and he isnt even making them. He is a liability. Tharpe just jacks up shots with tons of time and turns it over, he isnt strong with the ball. He shot us out of the game..

You have to keep EJ in just, just tell him to drive instead of jacking up threes.

Kevin Young has the most upside and Wesley at least plays defense. Plus KY has had some great passes. In my opinion, we need to go deeper on the bench and expore other talent.

as for a seventh man, I see merv lindsey as someone who can contribute. He is 6'7 and looks like he might be able to score. Give that kid 15 min one game and see what he can do.

K Young is sixth man, Merv is seventh.

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 2 months ago

The numbers that are glaring to me are----

1) The KU bench scoring five points and shooting 2 of 12 shots--that's 16%, by the way.

2) Teahan has made six of 29 shots the last seven games--that's 21%, if you were wondering.

Hope these numbers can improve soon, because the Sooners are coming to Larryville as hot as their red uni's.

One game at a time, Jayhawks. Don't look ahead. Get the Sooners!

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rockchalkchalkin23 2 years, 2 months ago

"Detect a pattern anyone?"

It's becoming easy to tell when Self is going to be out coached. It's much harder to tell if the players can just do what their told because they will win if they play well, as they are told, against a great coach.

So simple in theory and argument because it's a very efficient system. Not so simple when an opposing coach comes with the confidence he can win by having a game plan built to disrupt the system, and knowing that Self doesn't believe his system has weaknesses. When a loss happens, you Self lovers always say it's because the players didn't play well and Self knows best. The players believe he knows best and they do what their told for the most part, but sometimes they are going to play bad naturally. When opposing coaches deny our strengths and encourage our weaknesses, why can't you admit Self was out coached? The players are trying to do what they know.

Guys come to KU when it is their time. Regardless of the circumstances of how they got here or who is here, objectively the condition of the roster is on the coach. Missed recruits, ineligibility, and early departures to the NBA happens to the other major colleges too and is not the current players fault. Neither is lack of development. It is a deflection to what is being exposed. Self looks like a psychological master, as some have referenced him, because he recruits these very good players, sits them on the bench, uses the "quick hook" when they make a mistake, and crashes their confidence. He says play how I want you to play. They now fear making a mistake because they will get ripped for not being perfect. I think he would be better fit as a drill instructor in the military. When they do "develop" and play well, people say look at what Self has done with them, forgetting how good they were when they got here. In the midst of Reed and Morningstar being used to win games, Self also wasted a year of EJ's eligibility. Self uses his most talented and experienced players as a crutch. Can't remember the analyst/ ex ball player who said this last year, but sees Self as having 'smoke and mirrors'. Does he not know what he's talking about, because he doesn't have an 84% winning record at KU?

There is always going to be criticism when players play bad or worse, a loss. You 'blind love' Self lovers justify his great coaching ability by his win % and conference titles. I guess that's what you get when that's your goal. I prefer national titles over conference titles. Is that okay to ask for? This is the University of Kansas isn't it? It's been a while since I've been to AFH, but do we hang elite 8 banners? Can our goal be a national championship when we have a team loaded with talent and depth? Couldn't Self use the goal of a national championship to raise the expectations of his players and get more out of them overall?

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Marc Frey 2 years, 2 months ago

I thought at the begining of the season that the Big 12 Regular season Champiion would have 4 or 5 loses. I have not changed from that thought. We all know we have a thin bench. Some days we will see it. We loss at ISU, not the first time not the last. We have tought venues coming up adjust and mov e on. If KY was doing well at practice, he would play more.

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Janet Scott 2 years, 2 months ago

Ladies and Gentlemen, KU's issue and exposure to the "loss column" is a recent lack of recruiting success, pure and simple. It's no more complex than that.

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machinegun 2 years, 2 months ago

Lighten up. Have some fun. I really enjoy this team because there is no way you can take them for granted. They have to work together in order to win. They have to take care of business one game at a time.

Dickie V said that this was the least talented of Coach Self's teams. Did we lose the game because of a lack of talent? No--we lost the game due to our fouls and their free throws. Lopsided officiating? No--we lost the game due to our defense and their rebounding.

Conner can score, Kevin can score, Justin can score, Naadir can score...they know what is expected of them. They play for one of the best coaches in college basketball. They just need to spit in the eye of the tiger.

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William Blake 2 years, 2 months ago

I think we can't see the forest for the trees... we need to step out and look back.

This is the first real road test with a loud crowd. TT is the only one out there that has really faced that kind of friction before... and it turned out TT was the only one to have a decent game.

It's too bad we played Kentucky in the Gardens instead of down in Lexington. We needed a few of those in our preseason to prepare for B12 play.

This team has little depth and hasn't played together long... so these guys will have to adapt quickly to what is being thrown at them.

I've said all along this year that our success in March will be based on peaking in March. We've enjoyed a nice 10-game run, and now we face some tough games ahead. Whether this team wants to (or not) they will be "thrown to the lions" now and will have to face either taking the next developmental leap forward or settle for a sub-par year. If they leap forward (which I believe they will) the peak timing could be perfect!

We may need to drop a few more games in order to develop enough team maturity to where they bring their "A game" every night. I sensed that they had quite a bit of desire yesterday but just freaked out on the hostile environment. Something they better learn to deal with quick because lots of hostility awaits them in the coming weeks!

It's all about what it takes to be B12 champs. This team can do it!

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08Jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

It is what it is, but I'm surprised how deflated we looked from the start. Especially since Iowa State put up a fight in AFH, we knew how good they can be. Everyone can focus on the bench, which I will touch on in a second, but we will not win road games against quality competition without Releford or Johnson contributing more. In the last five games Releford is averaging 8 points and Johnson 9. That just isn't good enough from these two guys. We need the Releford who dropped 28 on Oklahoma and 16 on Kstate. We need the EJ who put up 23 on UCLA and 15 on Ohio State. Until we get more consistent scoring from these two, we will struggle to win road games.

Regarding the bench, Teahan needs to get less minutes until he proves he can hit the 3 more consistently. He is worthless otherwise. Give Tharpe more minutes and build up his confidence. The biggest issue I see with Tharpe is getting the ball stripped bringing it up the court. To alleviate this issue, have another guard stay back and help him or just have another guard bring it up. Tharpe is much more athletic than Teahan, is quicker, can play better defense and needs the experience/confidence. Tharpe will be no better next year unless he plays more this year. Young, averaging 5 minutes the last 4 games, no wonder he's inconsistent. That's on Self to play him more. Wesley is what he is.

Bad but not surprising loss. I'll take this loss for a win @ Mizzou next weekend. Still in first place. RCJH.

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kusully 2 years, 2 months ago

This is what happens when you have a head coach who year after year after year can elevate the play of his team and ALWAYS raise expectations of a very, if not the most fortunate fan base in D1. I personally had ALL four of our losses highlighted as concerns preseason. I still have four more highlights including OSU. Do I think we will lose all four? No but a lesser coach with a better team would raise my concern vs Self. Sit back and enjoy the ride. It's gonna be a good one. Rock Chalk

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Andy Tweedy 2 years, 2 months ago

If he had let those bench players play through their mistakes, we would have already lost at least two more close games that we ultimately won. And then this board would have been full of people criticizing Self for "mismanaging his bench" in a different fashion. We basically won the Texas game by one possession and I think Self was right to not trust one possession to a freshman who still has a lot of growing to do. Seven straight conference titles, a national championship and numerous McDonald's All-Americans and post after post about all the things coach can't do. I think I'm going to stick to football articles for a while, at least that team gave people reason to complain!

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Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

I think we are anxious to "want to believe", especially after a string of wins, which includes serving a major 'facial' to Drew/Baylor. But this is the reality. As ict said on the other thread: could be a matchup issue with IowaSt specifically, as they have outplayed us for like 60-65min out of 80 total minutes now...

My recurring thought now is Tharpe > Teahan "debate". Problem is he doesnt know enough of the plays to be effective from a guard standpoint in Self's offense. But the upside from him is ability to get to the rim & finish (yes, Tharpe). But we all know he wont play until he controls his turnovers and the defensive lapses. The only thing going for Teahan is 'length', 'time-in-system (knows positioning), 'seniority' (Self seems to reward seniors with mpg)...but in most games this season, Conner =net-negative. Not helping our cause...

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Clarence Haynes 2 years, 2 months ago

I got the sense that the guards didn't buy into the game plan as it related to offensive rebounding. ISU killed us on the boards mainly because they were well positioned to get rebounds off of ISU's missed three pointers. I saw both Christopher and McGhee getting rebounds and with the athleticism of our guards, that should not have been the case. We get 3 to 5 of those rebounds, we win the game regardless of our bench play (or the lack thereof). We better be ready for Mizzou because it could very well be the same situation.

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

My humble opinion is that this has nothing to do with Self's game management. You can't just play 5 guys.

This has to do with 1) Self's recruiting misses, 2) Self misjudging Selby/Markieff's return, and 3) Self (apparently) misjudging Tharpe.

Connor Teahan shouldn't even be on the court. Justin Wesley shouldn't even be on the court. Neither are rotation players for a D-1 school like KU. Lamar .. yes. Wichita St .. maybe. Towson .. surely. Not KU. Don't confuse that as being an insult to either player. Every player has their ceiling. Kevin Young may be a different story, but I question whether the young man has ever been coached (before this season), to move his feet on defense.

First, recruiting failures. Self never intended, desired, or wanted either of these guys actually playing -- Teahan/Wesley. His actions prove it. Look at who he recruited. Trevor Lacey, Josiah Turner, Angelo Chol, etc. Look who he got .. Braedon Anderson, Jamari Traylor, Ben McLemore, Naadir Tharpe. At a minimum, if McLemore is eligible .. Teahan gets minimized. And if Traylor is eligible, same for Wesley. Teahan and Wesley are not just good enough .. small stretches they might have flashes, sure .. but exposed over the entire season just as the headlines says .. absolutely. Teahan and Wesley are in over their heads. At most, Teahan should be the ninth guy .. perhaps a 5 minute guy solely because of the myth that he is a three point specialist. Maybe. Wesley should not be on the court.

Second, Self has said that he was surprised by Selby and Kieff turning pro. This ties into the first item. The excuse for the late recruiting chaos of last spring where we were left with Anderson and Traylor down low, and then had to get back in on Lacey (whom Self reportedly .. honestly .. told Lacey late last winter that he would be playing behind Selby). We can debate whether he should have been surprised -- that leads to a tangent discussion. But at the least, by his own words, he was expecting both to return which would make Teahan/Wesley pure benchwarmers.

Third, Self has apparently misjudged Tharpe. Clearly, he was expecting him to contribute this season. In classic quick hook Self style, Tharpe got his pocket picked in 5 seconds vs. Texas A&M and found the pine never to be seen again. No rope. But Tharpe being competent would make Teahan less of a necessity. Apparently, Tharpe ain't competent.

Has Self mismanaged his bench? It doesn't look like it. The only argument is the same argument every season on a younger player .. play the guy, let him get through his growing pains, let him make his mistakes, and perhaps you have a serviceable player (Tharpe). Self won't do it. Perhaps there is no cause for him to do it. I'm not making that argument.

Does he need more from his bench? Sure. It just isn't there. Achilles' heels are foul trouble and when some starters aren't playing as well as expected (no talent for a little energy injection).

It is what it is.

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Jayhawk1958 2 years, 2 months ago

And you can't argue that this might be one of his most untalented teams.

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kesmithstl1 2 years, 2 months ago

Coach Self is a great coach, buy yes, he can be criticized. I however, do not attend practices, film sessions, pre-game meals, or meet with these guys on a daily basis like he does. Self isn't confident in his bench right now. Yes, it's his job to develop it, but maybe he is getting all he can from some of these guys. Remember, Teahan barely saw the court last year. Tharpe, KY, and Wesley are all newcomers. Maybe they don't understand quite yet what it takes to win a confernence game on the road in the Big XII.

Look, it's one conference loss. This team is not as good as the teams KU has had in the past, but then again, neither is the league. I stilll like KU's chances to win the conference. Remember, Mizzou doesn't have a bench either, and our first 5 is better than theirs. Baylor, in my opinion, is too soft to win.

The bench guys will learn from this. Self is a great leader, and knows what it takes to win. He will do so. Let's calm down a bit Shaw. You're better than that too.

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Jayhawk1958 2 years, 2 months ago

That's insane. This is probably Self's BEST coaching job ever. Just look at what he has to work with:

He had to develop a former walk-on to play significant minutes Loses the top two bigs in the country to early entrance to the NBA Has 4 starters that were backups last year that didn't log a lot of minutes and now have to learn how to play as starters with a lot of minutes, and play them well because of the lack of depth. (Refer to Traylor and McElmore who were ineligble) You had Tyshawn who was a big question mark going into the season as he has been a underachiever throughout his playing career. Two top recruits that were projected to play a lot of minutes in the rotation and were declared inelgible.

What else proof do you need?

And he is 17-4 with all of these negatives! If you told me before the season that we would be 17-4 at this time, I would have said to quit smoking that crack pipe.

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Gregor Southard 2 years, 2 months ago

You guys are right about Self, I mean, he's only won 84 percent of his games at KU. If only he knew how to manage his teams!

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 2 months ago

Billy Tubbs played a 6 man rotation in 88 all the way to his loss against us. I'm not saying that's the way it should be done, but it can work.

This seems to be Self's MO over the past years. By this time of the year 7-8 guys are playing and the others are hoping for mop up duty only. Agree with all who are wondering why Teahan is out there. If he can't stretch the defense, his role is extremely limited. It turns it into a 4 against 5 when we're on offense.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 2 months ago

We know Conner isn't performing..............how do you know KY, Wesley, and Tharpe aren't performing in their very.........I mean limited minutes they are getting?

I understand we aren't going to win all of our league games, but my point is that the bench was thin during our last 4 games previous to this game and KU got "W's" with zero production from the bench, but it was a concern then.

I'm bringing to the attention that people are questioning KY's 1-5 shooting yesterday, but how do you expect a guy to get confidence or find real production when his combined minutes in the 3 revious games equal the whopping 9 minutes he got yesterday.

Seriously, does Releford really need to play 40 minutes? I think not!

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chriz 2 years, 2 months ago

“Uh, I think that would be affirmative,” Self said. “We’re not getting much at all, and we’re playing guys too many minutes. We’re not getting much from our bench at all right now.”

BigManU stole my thunder. I cant say much about Self's USE of his bench, but he has what he has because he, himself, was unproductive on the recruiting trail. I still can't figure out why we cant just get normal, eligible, talented recruits, but whatever. I will say that things seem to be looking up on the recruiting front, but we're seeing the results of poor recruiting from the previous 3-4 years. (And no, a one-and-done, regardless of how high he was ranked or how poorly he performed, does not make a good recruiting class.)

I will say, though, that I'm glad Self isn't letting these guys get away with poor play just because they're not good. He wasn't disrespectful to them or anything, and they'll improve if he stays on them.

And yeah, Teahan is most valuable when he hustles. He can get boards if he wants to. And it would be nice to see him pick up some fouls that way, too. I think Self needs to encourage him to err on the side of fouling.

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Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 2 months ago

Jhox, Thanks for the quad post. I didn't think that drivle was worth reading one time, much less 4 times...

Shaw, Are you serious? What do you think we are trying to do here? We are trying to win bball games. If Self leaves the reserves on the court who aren't preforming just so their confidence can improve, we probably don't win aTm or ISU at home. So we are in the same position, from a W-L perspective, as we are now, or worse. It makes absolutely no sense to leave someone out there who is a liability just so they can get their confidence up so that they will not be a liability later. Its up to KY and Tehan to produce, not HCBS's job to stroke their ego! This is big time D-1 bball and if you can't get done what coach is asking, then he should get someone in there who he knows can get the job done. Coach's job is to beat the team on the schedule that day, and he has done a pretty swell job of that so far. Self is not one of those guys who is coaching for tomorrow, he wants to win today and will do what is necessary to get that done... Today! Your reasoning is absolutely absurd and you belong on the bench w/ that brick artist CT.

We were not going to win all of our league games, we knew that. We were in this game up to the end. That's a good thing. We just failed to convert some big buckets down the stretch (Tehan!!!), but that's going to happen and we have to accep it and leave it at that. Self is doing a damn good job with what he has around him this year and we just have to ride with him till the end this year

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chriz 2 years, 2 months ago

"That's right, 'cause law don't go around here!"

"I heard you the first time, Ike."

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

BigManU, I agree with much of what you have to say. Self has been very quick to pull guys and not let them play through mistakes and develop confidence. Fatigue is clearly playing a role in how the starters are playing. We just look like we have dead legs. Actually, we looked like we had dead legs from the start yesterday. I wonder if we had one of those spirited all out walk throughs again yesterday? In the past we had the depth to get away with that sort of thing. Not so much this year.

Another thing I've noticed is that Thomas doesn't appear to be carrying as much mass as he did at the start of the season. I suppose that's understandable from all of the drain of practices and games, but I think the lack of depth is taking its toll on his body. Of course, it doesn't help that he's getting double and triple teamed constantly, and getting the crap beat out of him with no help from the officials. Four second half fouls against ISU yesterday, and the whole half Thomas is just getting beat to death. I've been an official and I tend to be pretty sympathetic to officials, but that second half was a travesty. I thought we maybe got a little more love from the refs than we deserved the first half, but they more than balanced it out with lop sided home court officiating the second half. Bill needs to start working the refs over for all of the hammering that Thomas is taking in the blocks.

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

BigManU, I agree with much of what you have to say. Self has been very quick to pull guys and not let them play through mistakes and develop confidence. Fatigue is clearly playing a role in how the starters are playing. We just look like we have dead legs. Actually, we looked like we had dead legs from the start yesterday. I wonder if we had one of those spirited all out walk throughs again yesterday? In the past we had the depth to get away with that sort of thing. Not so much this year.

Another thing I've noticed is that Thomas doesn't appear to be carrying as much mass as he did at the start of the season. I suppose that's understandable from all of the drain of practices and games, but I think the lack of depth is taking its toll on his body. Of course, it doesn't help that he's getting double and triple teamed constantly, and getting the crap beat out of him with no help from the officials. Four second half fouls against ISU yesterday, and the whole half Thomas is just getting beat to death. I've been an official and I tend to be pretty sympathetic to officials, but that second half was a travesty. I thought we maybe got a little more love from the refs than we deserved the first half, but they more than balanced it out with lop sided home court officiating the second half. Bill needs to start working the refs over for all of the hammering that Thomas is taking in the blocks.

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

BigManU, I agree with much of what you have to say. Self has been very quick to pull guys and not let them play through mistakes and develop confidence. Fatigue is clearly playing a role in how the starters are playing. We just look like we have dead legs. Actually, we looked like we had dead legs from the start yesterday. I wonder if we had one of those spirited all out walk throughs again yesterday? In the past we had the depth to get away with that sort of thing. Not so much this year.

Another thing I've noticed is that Thomas doesn't appear to be carrying as much mass as he did at the start of the season. I suppose that's understandable from all of the drain of practices and games, but I think the lack of depth is taking its toll on his body. Of course, it doesn't help that he's getting double and triple teamed constantly, and getting the crap beat out of him with no help from the officials. Four second half fouls against ISU yesterday, and the whole half Thomas is just getting beat to death. I've been an official and I tend to be pretty sympathetic to officials, but that second half was a travesty. I thought we maybe got a little more love from the refs than we deserved the first half, but they more than balanced it out with lop sided home court officiating the second half. Bill needs to start working the refs over for all of the hammering that Thomas is taking in the blocks.

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

BigManU, I agree with much of what you have to say. Self has been very quick to pull guys and not let them play through mistakes and develop confidence. Fatigue is clearly playing a role in how the starters are playing. We just look like we have dead legs. Actually, we looked like we had dead legs from the start yesterday. I wonder if we had one of those spirited all out walk throughs again yesterday? In the past we had the depth to get away with that sort of thing. Not so much this year.

Another thing I've noticed is that Thomas doesn't appear to be carrying as much mass as he did at the start of the season. I suppose that's understandable from all of the drain of practices and games, but I think the lack of depth is taking its toll on his body. Of course, it doesn't help that he's getting double and triple teamed constantly, and getting the crap beat out of him with no help from the officials. Four second half fouls against ISU yesterday, and the whole half Thomas is just getting beat to death. I've been an official and I tend to be pretty sympathetic to officials, but that second half was a travesty. I thought we maybe got a little more love from the refs than we deserved the first half, but they more than balanced it out with lop sided home court officiating the second half. Bill needs to start working the refs over for all of the hammering that Thomas is taking in the blocks.

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

BigManU, I agree with much of what you have to say. Self has been very quick to pull guys and not let them play through mistakes and develop confidence. Fatigue is clearly playing a role in how the starters are playing. We just look like we have dead legs. Actually, we looked like we had dead legs from the start yesterday. I wonder if we had one of those spirited all out walk throughs again yesterday? In the past we had the depth to get away with that sort of thing. Not so much this year.

Another thing I've noticed is that Thomas doesn't appear to be carrying as much mass as he did at the start of the season. I suppose that's understandable from all of the drain of practices and games, but I think the lack of depth is taking its toll on his body. Of course, it doesn't help that he's getting double and triple teamed constantly, and getting the crap beat out of him with no help from the officials. Four second half fouls against ISU yesterday, and the whole half Thomas is just getting beat to death. I've been an official and I tend to be pretty sympathetic to officials, but that second half was a travesty. I thought we maybe got a little more love from the refs than we deserved the first half, but they more than balanced it out with lop sided home court officiating the second half. Bill needs to start working the refs over for all of the hammering that Thomas is taking in the blocks.

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Chris Shaw 2 years, 2 months ago

“Uh, I think that would be affirmative,” Self said. “We’re not getting much at all, and we’re playing guys too many minutes. We’re not getting much from our bench at all right now.”

This is completely on Self IMO. I mean, he's got what he's got on the bench and it's his job to try and develop those guys and give them the necessary confidence to produce. He has given Teahan every opportunity to produce and he's not cutting it right now. Actually, it's draining on me to watch him play with zero emotion and the negative energy. Basketball is fun! It's the greatest game on the planet. You're playing for one of the best college basketball teams in the country........................enjoy it because before you know it............it's all over!

I'll get to back to Teahan in a minute, but how do you expect a guy (KY) to produce when he has gotten 14 minutes, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, prior to this game? I mean, he had the same amount of minutes against Iowa State yesterday (9) as he's had in the previous 3 games combined. No wonder the kid went 1-5 from the field!

And Self, media, and others what to know why he shot 1-5 from the field yesterday? Show a kid confidence, allow him to make a few mistakes and allow him to produce in that role. I'm sorry, the KY situation is completely on Self. IMO, he needs to be dipping into Conner's minutes at the moment.

As for Conner, I wouldn't have a problem with him, but my main issue is the kid's body language on the court. He's feeling sorry for himself, not having fun, and isn't showing any emotion towards good or bad plays. You're a 5th year senior for crying out loud. You've been through it all and just because your shot isn't falling doesn't mean you take time off from your leadership duties no matter how minor or major they may be.

Conner may be 6-29 from 3 in his last 7 games, but he's 4-19 from 3 in his last 5 games. IMO, Conner has become a liability on offense because all he does is hang around and float around the 3 point line.

Prime Example: Jeff Withey caught a pass at the Free Throw line and surprisingly got two defenders up in the air with a pump fake. All Teahan had to do was cut to the basket from the corner and he would have had a layup. Instead, he just hung out in the corner on the 3 point line and Withey turned the ball over.

As for Wesley............you get what you get from Wesley, but I truly believe Self is mis-managing Teahan's, KY's, and Tharpe's bench minutes. Those 3 guys' confidence is completely wrecked at the moment. How do you build confidence of bench play if the coach doesn't show any confidence in them? I suggest finding a solution rather than pointing out the obvious from the initial quote.

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