Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bill Self worried about energy

Coach says KU flat in past two outings


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self spoke with his players in a Monday afternoon film session about a trend that needs to stop.

“We haven’t been as energized the last two games. We’ve played flat,” Self said of Wednesday’s 64-54 home victory over Texas A&M; and Saturday’s 72-64 loss at Iowa State.

“It’s not about playing hard. I’m talking about just being enthusiastic, energetic. When we do that, we’re pretty good. When we are not (energized), we don’t appear to be near as athletic and don’t seem to make plays that players make when games are tight. When you are energized, it covers up for a lot of mistakes. When you are not energized, then execution and discipline — all those things become more a factor. Against Iowa State the last five minutes, we didn’t get stops. The majority of those times it all came with under seven seconds on the shot clock. A guy reaches, a guy loses sight of his man, a guy doesn’t block out. All these things can be avoided if we are a little more in-tune.”

He said on his weekly Hawk Talk radio show that energy also shows up in rebounding totals. ISU outrebounded KU, 36-23. KU has been outboarded in three of the past five games.

Offensive rebounding has been especially poor.

“Travis (Releford) didn’t get any rebounds. Conner (Teahan) is not getting any rebounds when he’s at the 3 (spot). Thomas (Robinson) isn’t getting any rebounds. Jeff (Withey) didn’t get many offensive rebounds. Let’s call it like it is. It’s not one or two guys, it’s a lot,” Self said. “That’s where I think the energy stuff comes in. A shooter always assumes every shot is going to go in, but a rebounder should always assume they are going to miss. That’s not how we have played at all. Our second and third effort on the glass on both ends was extremely poor. We need to do a much better job. It’s not just the guards, it’s our bigs, too.”

Sore wrist: Self revealed on the radio show that Releford sprained his left, non-shooting wrist a couple weeks ago. “He’s fine,” Self said.

Tharpe update: A caller asked Self about freshman point guard Naadir Tharpe’s limited playing time.

“I know some people think maybe if you give him more of an opportunity he can play better, but you can’t check in and four seconds later a guy takes the ball and goes and makes a layup,” Self said. “That’s happened two games in a row. That right there is something where he has to value the ball a little bit more. He’s a good player. I just think having Elijah (Johnson) in there as backup is probably better right now than having Naadir in there.”

Of Tharpe, Self added: “We desperately would like to have another guard be able to play so he’s probably not to the point I think he’s ready. That’s not being negative toward him. He’s young. He’s a freshman. He has not come around probably at the rate I thought he would the way the season started.”

As far as future minutes for Tharpe and the current bench players, Self noted: “It remains to be seen because right now if you look at our team, if you are on the bench, you have a great opportunity to get minutes because we want to be able to play our bench more. If you are not able to do it this year, you will have to really step up to the plate because we will not be in a situation like this where we do not have depth again, at least I hope not. All the guys who are probably not playing as much as they’d like, it’ll be harder for them to play next year because we are going to recruit some cats that will be competitive, and whoever plays the best in practice, plays. That’s how it’s going to be. I don’t really know how our bench fits in next year because I want to wait and see how they compete against guys we’ve recruited.”

Only seniors speak on Senior Night: Self was asked if he’d allow junior Thomas Robinson to give a speech on Senior Night this season (March 3 vs. Texas), since Robinson assuredly will be turning pro after his junior campaign.

“I’ve actually thought about that, but I don’t think so,” Self said. “I love Thomas. I love Cole (Aldrich, who stayed three years). I loved all those kids that left early, but Senior Night is about seniors. It’s not about the sophomores and juniors. As much as I like Thomas and as much as I think that he would benefit and everybody would benefit hearing from him in that situation, he can do it in a different forum I hope than that (perhaps at postseason banquet). I tossed that around in my mind. I still think at the end of the day there’s something special about those kids that stay four years and it’s their night. We’re definitely going to make them feel that way.”

Self helped ref: A high-placed source who witnessed the court-storming aftermath of Saturday’s KU-Iowa State game at Hilton Coliseum in Ames on Monday praised Self. Self joined ISU university police and ISU officials in assisting Big 12 ref Darron George, who cut his hand and also chipped a bone in his knuckle after getting run into by fans.

“KU coach Self and the KU players stopped to help George when they saw him kneeling in a hallway and bleeding profusely. Self kept people from running into George and called for the KU doctor to make sure somebody was coming over to assist,” the source, who did not wish to be identified, told the Journal-World.

“The medical staff of Iowa State shuffled George into the training facility to care for him, but Self was right there until the ref was taken care of,” the source added. “After losing a game and having the stress of making sure his kids got off of the floor safely ... the fact that he set all of that aside to offer help says a lot.”

Self would not comment on his role in helping George, who also declined comment.

Self has spoken about the incident in general.

“That was a dangerous deal,” Self said. “Whenever an official goes down like he went down ... we go back there and he’s laying on the floor and in so much pain he can’t communicate with you and you don’t know what is going on... if it can happen to officials who are escorted off the floor, it can happen to anybody.

“If that had been a last-possession game, I think somebody would have gotten hurt,” added Self, who had all his players stand near the scorer’s table as he instructed the five players on the court to dribble the ball near that area as the clock wound down and the students prepared to storm. “Somebody would have run into players and a player would retaliate or something trying to get through it (mob). Somebody could accidentally push somebody down and that person gets trampled. It’s nobody’s fault, but if you are going to allow it to happen, I think there has to be some security to at least allow a three or four-foot area for guys to walk through the crowd.”


Jeeveshawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Played flat. This is known as the Win Streak Effect. After we have been winning for a long time, we begin to feel too secure and start playing poorly. Then comes the next step in our road to a loss: victory. While continuing to perform clumsily, we play a squishy team, in our case: The Texas A&M Aggies. We chose to continue bumbling around carelessly, but managed to get away with it. After all, its only the Aggies! Now it is time for the next element of the Win Streak Effect. The Jayhawks must now play a decent team in the Iowa State Cyclones. But we are Kansas! We pommeled Baylor, we're first in this rigid conference we call the Big 12, and we beat these guys before. Coming off half-@!#ed shouldn't be a problem. Meanwhile our opponents brainwork is more like this: We need to charge full force like a bull at the matador, its our only chance of victory.

Its simple physics. If a smaller object hits a larger object with a greater velocity, the small object will over-power the larger object. That is exactly what happened to us against Iowa State.

However, their is one positive factor to the winstreak effect (other than the winstreak), after the loss, we hit as hard as we can for a stretch of a few games, and no team that is inferior to us will be able to subdue us during that stretch.

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

I have been wondering if a loss might get our attention. I hate losing just as much as the next guy, but if we learn something from this loss that allows us to win in Columbia, then perhaps I can be at peace with a loss at the Hilton. I would rather learn some hard lessons in January, instead of February or March. (The optimist inside of me wants to add April to the list...)

NomadHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I concur. This is one of the main reasons I like our team this year - we can't just rely on our superior talent to win every game. The boys are learning that in order to win, you need to put your best foot forward every night. I think a lack of these sorts of lessons in the past have been a contributing factor to some of our early exits in March. Hopefully when March comes, our boys will be playing energized every night!!! Got a legit shot at the NC if that's the case.

Mike Bratisax 4 years, 3 months ago

Not disagreeing Jeeves..I think 'Win Streak Effect' played its part but so did KU's propensity to play down to the talent of their opponents.

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

I would love to see the Jayhawks end a sombody's home court win streak in Columbia on Saturday...

lv_jhwk 4 years, 3 months ago

As much as I want to see and hear Robinson speak, I fully agree with Self's take on Senior Day speeches.

Mike Kendall 4 years, 3 months ago

Yep-- I agree. Senior Day (Night) is for Seniors. Good call, coach Self.

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

Yes! If Coach Self does not put his foot down on this, then soon you will see One and Done-rs giving speeches.

Allen Field House 2018: "I was the big stud in HS, and came here as a 5 star recruit. Then I hit a wall in Big 12 conference play, started averaging 4 ppg, 6 turnovers per game and just could not stop fouling out with four minutes left...thanks for all your support guys, I am now gonna try for that first round draft pick in the NBA. Rock Chalk Jayhawk."

nuleafjhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I want to hear Thomas talk on HIS Senior Day.

And then again after we cut down the nets after the NC game.

Hey - if you're gonna dream, dream big huh?

Tony Bandle 4 years, 3 months ago

Since Paul Pierce didn't speak [ the first Jayhawk to go early], no non-senior should ever be allowed to speak.

LAJayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, Chamberlain did leave after his junior year, but did they have senior speeches back then? I'm guessing not, which may be Oakville's point: Pierce was the first to leave early in the "speech" era.

wavinghawk 4 years, 3 months ago

If there was one time to make exception I think this would be it. He's going to give a speech at some point I think it would cool if he got to do it with the fans that supported him so much.

But I understand there is something special about a guy that sticks around all 4 years.

ReffahsGPeludo 4 years, 3 months ago

“KU coach Self and the KU players stopped to help George when they saw him kneeling in a hallway and bleeding profusely. Self kept people from running into George and called for the KU doctor to make sure somebody was coming over to assist,”

This is how it's done, Coach Williams.

VaJay 4 years, 3 months ago

+1 (or old coach Roy definitely got too snippy and/or pouty after losses - HCBS maintains his great demeanor regardless - he's as close to a perfect coach as there is, win or lose.)

Jeff Kilgore 4 years, 3 months ago

To me, that's because Williams seems to take basketball more personally than Self does. Self wants to win as bad as the next coach, but I think he has the big picture in mind, and while Coach Williams is an exceptional person, Self may be more so.

ParisHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Now we know why ku dribbled out the clock: Self put in a play to get his team off the floor safely. The man is "aware".

KULA 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm worried about energy too. But you can't "tell" players not to be tired. It's a shame our bench is almost nonexistent, but 4 seconds? Really? Give a kid a break, Bill. It's just a conference game. I'd say we're already in the tournament. Who woulda thought Naadir was gonna be a "one and done?" (One mistake and you're done for the day) And sliding EJ over to the 1 is our best option? So when does he get to rest?

Well, it is what it is, and it's getting kinda late in the season to get a bencher prepared to contribute a few minutes/game come tournament time. But I don't think this bodes well for a tournament run. I still say we have the best starting five in the country, but you can't play them 35 min/game all season without it wearing them down.

And by the way, I wonder if Jim Calhoun coached his team to win every conference game last season, or if he coached them to prepare them for the tournament.

mojayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

To answer your last question about Jim Calhoun? I don't know, but Coach Self does both. He coaches to win every game and to prepare them for the tournament. You can't sacrifice one for the other.

ParisHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

+1, although it was a rhetorical question.

The regular season is just a series of tune-ups for the NCAA Tournament (also known as "the tournament" since nothing else exists).

Presidents should use their first three years in office just to prepare themselves for the next Election year.

Husbands should neglect their wives during the year and concentrate on prepping for the next anniversary.

All fiction (I wish...)

jhox 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm with you KULA. You have to let kids play through a few mistakes, so they're ready and prepared come tournament time. Coach Self doesn't do very much wrong, but he is human and makes mistakes. The one consistent mistake I've seen him make is not preparing some of the guys to be ready to contribute come March. I look at Releford as a Freshman. That team could have used a contribution from him in our tournament loss that year, and I'm convinced he could have helped us, but we couldn't afford to play him because he hadn't gotten a chance to develop. How about Withey last year? How could his defense not have helped us? Instead, this is the first year Self had to live with a few mistakes and let his game develop, and look how that's turned out.

Tharp is unique in that I really have no idea what we have there. What I do know is we are thin at the point. Elijah isn't comfortable with the off hand and isn't a true point guard. I don't believe we have a true point guard coming in next year. He needs to find Tharp a few minutes here and there. Let him play through a few mistakes. In the preseason games he made a few mistakes the first half of the first game, but then played well the second half of the first game and entire second game. Granted, it wasn't against Big 12 competition, but sometimes you have to have the bigger picture in mind, and let these guys play through a few mistakes. Look at Taylor earlier this season. He was playing poorly, but he got the chance to work through that and now he's playing like a first team all American. I think Self's one big problem is he can't stand losing even a single conference game. While that's good in theory, the bigger picture for a school like KU should be getting prepared for NCAA play. Winning the Big 12 is nice. Going to the Final 4 and winning the national championship is even better.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 3 months ago

He did let them play through their mistakes, it's called the non-conference schedule. Big XII play isn't the place to sacrifice possessions in hopes that a player will get it by the tournament.

KULA 4 years, 3 months ago

You'll never win a game of chess if you're unwilling to ever lose a chess piece.

John Randall 4 years, 3 months ago

You may be a little generous in assessing HCBS' penchant for never losing a game – with some players, he can't stand to 'lose' even one possession.

I wonder if his Self-image tells him that putting a player on the floor always has to bring immediate gratification or lead to punishment (which becomes Self-fulfilling the next time).

Mistakes happen, and they're not positive learning experiences when the coach takes them in a negative way. Players who are denied all chances to play through any kind of error can easily become gun shy to the point where they sabotage themselves like a deer in the headlights. It just isn't realistic to demand impeccable play from the players least prepared to deliver it.

dylans 4 years, 3 months ago

You can tell that Self has no clue how to develop players by the complete lack of success of the program and the inability to get players drafted. There is only one team that doesn't end the season in a loss (the Not Invited Tourney doesn't count).

FreddyinLA 4 years, 3 months ago

If Naadir is having difficulty bring up the ball, move him over to the 2 spot until he get into the flow of the game. He has shown some ability in hitting the 3 ball, so if given the chance, he might be an option given Tehan’s ongoing slump. Not going to happen though.

Scott Oswalt 4 years, 3 months ago

My thoughts exactly. Teahan isn't hitting the open 3, isn't playing defense and is turning the ball over. Does he have lead in his shoes? He is hurting this team in every faucet of the game. Give Tharpe a chance and let him play through a few mistakes, because he will have them. He needs confidence to get going!

KULA 4 years, 3 months ago

Great idea! Why throw a wide-eyed freshman on center stage under the spotlight? Let him work his way in gradually.

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

I don't think the energy issue has much, if anything, to do with a physical lack of energy. It's more about mentality and "want", which both tend to slip when on a winning streak (credit to Jeeveshawk).

These are 18-22 year old kids. The idea that playing 35 minutes/game just twice a week is wearing them down is absurd, imho.

Plus, let's look at this a little closer:

TT is averaging the most minutes, at 32.2 per game. TRob, TRel, and EJ are all around 31 per game. Withey is at 23 minutes/game.

Self's teams usually have the top contributors at something closer to 27-29 minutes per game, so we're only really talking about five extra minutes MAX on average. I don't think that extra five minutes a game is making or breaking the physical energy reserves available to such young guys.

Furthermore, there are past examples of teams with players who played close to as many minutes--the best example I can come up with is the 2008 team. Chalmers and Rush each averaged 30 mpg that year, but no one ever really worried about that team wearing down.

Lastly, the idea that there is a choice between coaching to win every conference game and coaching to win the tournament is a completely false choice. I'm not sure where fans got it in their heads that you can't coach to win in the regular season and coach to win in the NCAA tournament simultaneously. Coaching to win is coaching to win. Besides, Calhoun didn't "coach" UConn to that national title. The Huskies were lucky. They went to one of the least "talented" Final Fours in recent memory, and won two games where their opponents shot a combined 18-60 (30%) from three and 33-126 (26%) from the field. You really have to try to lose against an opponent who is sub-30% from the field. And before anyone credits those shooting percentages to UConn's defense, I watched both games--Kentucky and Butler got plenty of open looks, they were just ice cold.

KULA 4 years, 3 months ago

I'll disagree--I think fatigue could and does become a factor. In the Texas, Duke & Kentucky games, we had them on the run in the first half, only to get overtaken in the second half. And we just didn't have it in the last 5 minute of the iowa St game.

And UConn did get a favorable draw, but the coach had them prepared to take advantage of it. That's what coaches do. Just like Larry did in 88. I remember what Danny said, in response to the sour grapes grumblers of "lucky." Luck is when preparation meets opportunity." I wonder if he heard that from Larry. you think any of our current bench players look prepared to get "lucky?"

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

You will never convince me that 18-22 year old legs suffer from any measurable fatigue.

1) Kentucky was a simple case of a less-athletic team trying to play an athletic team's up-and-down style, which they were better at. It was the style, not fatigue, that caught up to us. Kentucky had players who were better equipped to play a run-and-gun style game.

2) Duke was back and forth the entire time and we had the lead with under two minutes to play. Duke won because of a turnover that should have been called a foul, a pass that should have been called a turnover, and two ridiculous (one moreso than the other) three-pointers at the end of the game. I guess you can say those things happened due to fatigue, but I'm not sure there's any particular basis for that assessment.

3) Texas simply started to hit shots, and KU pulled out the win after being down four late, in the part of the game when fatigue is most likely to affect how you play. Not sure how this makes your point. Texas made their run with ten minutes to play in the game, so I'm not sure if it's accurate to chalk that up to fatigue.

As far as UConn goes... I've heard that saying, and it's true to a point. But not all luck is created equal. Some luck is comprised of 3 parts opportunity, 1 part preparation, while other luck is the exact opposite.

Take UConn's draw as an example of "luck" vs. Kansas' closeout of the 2008 title game as an example of "luck:

1) Was Kansas "lucky" to have Memphis miss the free throws that allowed us to tie the game? Certainly. But the margin of error was razor thin (KU had to succeed every trip down the floor, and was able to because the skill, aka 'preparation' for that team was excellent). Plus, Memphis was a bad free throw shooting team. It's not like Kansas benefitted from some freak, completely out-of-character occurrence.

2) Contrast that to UConn's "luck". They ran into two teams that shot the ball uncharacteristically low, and the margin for error with that kind of performance was much higher. If you remember, UConn didn't shoot very well either--I have a hard time equating all "luck" as equal, because UConn's "luck" involved much more opportunity than preparation.

I stand by my assertion that Calhoun deserves absolutely no credit for UConn's title last year. If UConn was that good a team, then they would have produced better results over the larger sample size of the season, rather than taking advantage of a couple of terrible performances by UK and Butler.

Do I think our bench players could get lucky the same way UConn did? Absolutely.

KULA 4 years, 3 months ago

Bill knew in November that he only had 5 players he could depend on. He also knew, as any coach does, that you need a few subs that you can play a few minutes without the wheels coming off. And I'm sure he knows as a coach that players get better with repetitions and practice. I would have thought, looking at the season as a campaign to the tournament, that he would've been willing to live with some mistakes and turnovers and even possibly losing a few games during the season, in the hope of having a few subs ready to contribute a few minutes in March (and April).

He did a masterful job of bringing Cole along as a freshman, when he regularly played about 8 min/game, entering around the eight minute mark of each half. And we saw how well that paid off in the Final Four, when Cole made a monkey out of Hansbrough.

I don't know why Bill abandoned this season long coaching strategy that worked so well. I expected to see the same routine with Withey, EJ & TRob as freshman, but by Feb. of that year, they were chained to the bench. We've seen this year alone how much Withey has developed, probably in good part due to his increased playing time.

And, I'll say it again, Bill coaches through negative reinforcement for failure, which erodes a player's confidence. I wish EJ & Travis showed more confidence and less hesitance offensively.

Ethan Berger 4 years, 3 months ago

There's another Bill who has the same style. Hes about to coach his 5th superbowl

741hawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Excellent observation. As I recall, they were a nine seed going into Big East tournament . . . but playing well. That was a team of freshmen that became veterans at tournament time.

Jason Roberts 4 years, 3 months ago

I think I might catch the KU-MU game at Yankee Doodle on Saturday. Are you going to any of the LA Jayhawk spots?

KULA 4 years, 3 months ago

The Parlor on Melrose will be the place to be--should be a huge Jayhawk turnout.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

Naadir, Merv, Justin and KY appear the targets. These were the guys like those Self used to recruit at Tulsa that he said he could win with.

This year's nubes may not be much, but they at least have helped us win 17 games this year by being here.

The "cats" that can compete next year?

Here is what experience suggests will probably happen with such a big class..

One will transfer.

One will get a significant injury.

One will be too young mentally to perform well as a freshman.

One will play well, but still need 10 minutes rest.

Oh, and one will have to sit because multiple transcripts keep him from qualifying.

2-3 of these "cats" will play, but need a year, or three to become polished..

Another thing experience tells us. Two of the guys on the bench doing squat will play pretty well next year, because they get better.

This years group of nubes are doing little worse than any of Self's non 4-5 stars have ever done.

Remember Self tried to play EJ and Travis two years and sat them, too, and they were 4-5 stars. And Self could have used them, wanted to use them, tried to.

Oh, and any of these "cats" that really can compete instantly will be gone in one, or two years. Just ask Selby and X.

What is going on here? Is Self cracking?

He has a 17-4 team tied for first place and he is threatening team chemistry with apparent threats to bench players about next season's recruits?

This seems not like Bill Self.

fansincewilt 4 years, 3 months ago

I think the tied for first place is an assumption that we will lose to Missouri. I think the guys are focused on that game and was part of the reason for last Saturday. I think we beat Missouri.

Clarence Haynes 4 years, 3 months ago

Agree. First Beat OU. We then need to shut down Dixon and the Presley!

FSUJHAWK 4 years, 3 months ago

KU starting five in HCBS doghouse? You kidding me! KU bench's doghose door left ajar? Yup! HCBS crack? Dont think so. HCBS Master Media and Coaching Psychologist? Know so.


Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

Self is the Coach of the Year to this point, cracking my a$$, he is just being honest.

He has four legit starters and a guard that has lost his aggressiveness. He has a bench rotation that consists of a walk-on three point shooter that cannot buy a three when it matters, a transfer that is average at about all things at best and also is unable to buy open buckets, and a slew of other walk ons that are on the team as favors to ex-players and coaches. Right now, I could be as productive as Teabagger. Come in, get scored on, miss some open three pointers that I probably shouldn't have taken anyway, maybe throw in a couple turnovers... Yeah, I can handle that. Hell, I'm moving back to Lawrence and walking on.

That we are in first place, or tied or whatever you want to call it, is nothing short of amazing. The Big 12 is loaded this year, both Mizzou and Baylor have far better teams than Kansas, and yet Self gets his guys in the win column. Iowa State is a legit team, Kansas State is good, Oklahoma is better than expected, Texas has the third most McDonald's All Americans to Kentucky and North Carolina, and yet who leads the division?

Can somebody off the bench please step up your game, where is Jeff Graves to our Wayne Simien!?

LAJayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Texas almost knocked of Mizzou last night.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

Yeah man, how many freakin' one point road victories can Mizzou get?

If two points wins them this conference (Baylor and Texas) in their final year here, I'll throw up.

Mike Bratisax 4 years, 3 months ago

Don't count our losses to quickly. We up in the loss column. I see Tharpe transferring and maybe Lindsey...

If I were a big..Kansas would definitely be my top choice. If I was a backcourt player...not so sure.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

Next...regarding energy, Self sent them out flat against aTm and got caught having to play starters big minutes.

He juices them a little for isu, but then Self gets outcoached by Fred the second straight time.

If he is not careful, the players are going to start saying there is a sign on his desk reading: No Bucks Here.

Benjamin Piehler 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm with you on the out coached thing, well, maybe out prepared. ISU looked like they had been looking forward to the game for awhile... Probably spent days watching tape.

hotrodm 4 years, 3 months ago

Hoiberg did have a great game plan against us. He had Royce White play out on the 3 point line to draw Jeff Withey out from under the basket. I feel a zone at times would have been effective, maybe a 1-3-1 zone that would allow Withey to stay in the paint to block shots and rebound. Why not play a zone on a few possesions to shake things up?

FreddyinLA 4 years, 3 months ago

KU should be playing a 2-3 zone when teams move JW out from under the basket. The guy is a shot blocking machine, but is not being utilized correctly. Oh well.

741hawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I like a 3-2 zone to pack Withey and T-Rob under the basket. I believe Lon Kueger has shown how to play a 3-2.

Bion Ostrander 4 years, 3 months ago

Self wasn't outcoached, Hoiberg is not a rocket scientist, he merely did what the past few teams have done to KU with some success, and he packed it in the middle so TRob can't score and TT can't drive to the bucket, its not hard to figure out.

The difference - - Hoiberg has one big versatile stud Royce White that KU can't match up, and ISU had superior bench depth (39 minutes, 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for ISU, and KU has 29 minutes, 5 points, and 2 rebounds off the bench (and of those subs, Teahan was 1 for 7). In fact, ISU's bench had 3 offensive rebounds, and KU's entire team had 3 rebounds - - that is pathetic!!

I love TRob, but he is not a very good offensive rebounder this year, and the whole team sucks lately in that area as Self notes. How does KU get 50 rebounds against KSU (a good rebounding team), and then get outrebounded in 3 of the past 5 games? As Self says, its all about "energy, effort and want to"...

KU still needs to come up with someone else that can start making outside shots when other teams pack it in, so far that person is NOT CT, TR, EJ, or any other bench player. Although, I would give Young and Lindsay more minutes without yanking them, and see what they can do.

I don't think KU can get this thing turned around against better teams until someone besides TT (and it might be someone different every game) starts hitting some outside shots, because teams will continue to pack it in the middle.

This team suffers from lack of competition, the starters know Self has no other options from the bench, thus the apparent lack of effort at times.

This team will be a challenge for Self, but part of that is due to recent recruiting issues which failed to land an outside shooter (that didn't have grades/transcript issues). I'm tired of having to settle for players that sit out because of transfer issues, this is not the KU way - - and Duke, NC, and KY do not have those issues.

I'm optimistic as always when I have Self as a coach, but this team and its limitations will test his coaching ability - - mostly because I don't think there is lot he can do "coaching wise" to cure the lack of depth or outside shooting.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

Some good points. As I have said the last couple of days, ISU might have just been a bad match-up for us. I don't think Self was out-coached - the rebounding disparity is on the players, not the coach. That is the common theme between the two games against ISU. The bench is a problem without a solution. And the biggest issue facing this team is the lack of a consistent third scorer. In normal years, the third leading scorer in the starting line-up could get away with 10 points/game, but without production from the bench, someone has to get their average up around 15 points/game. Also agree (and said so immediately after the ISU game) that preferably the third scoring option be someone with a trey gun.

Steven Mathew 4 years, 3 months ago

I think this is because we don't have ONE consistent three point shooter that opponents would fear.

LAJayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

^^ This also.

Pack it in inside which shuts down TRob and TT's drives, and also limits second chance points. Without a legitimate threat from the outside, teams can easily do this.

LAJayhawk 4 years, 3 months ago

"I love TRob, but he is not a very good offensive rebounder this year..."

TRob is ranked 4th in the Big 12 in offensive boards and 105th nationally. Could he be better? Oh absolutely, but I don't think those stats (averaging almost 3 offensive boards a game) qualify as "not very good."

Again, he absolutely can get better, but one defense I will give him is that he is the cornerstone of our offense. Not only is he expected to take considerably more shots this year than in years past which limits his opportunities for offensive boards (as opposed to the many more chances he had following a Morris shot), but he's also being consistently double and triple teamed as one of two of the only true offensive threats we have. What that means is that he usually has an extra body on him trying to keep him off the glass. PLUS, he has to limit his fouls (something he didn't have to do nearly as much his freshman and sophomore years) which takes away a little bit of aggressiveness on the offensive glass. What all of that equates to is that other guys need to step up on rebounds, most notably, Withey and Releford.

But, again, I do agree with you that TRob needs to be more aggressive on the offensive glass.

Curtis Stutz 4 years, 3 months ago

We all knew it was going to be a long conference season (18 games) and KU has a short bench. I disagree with Jaybate in that there are usually guys that come off the bench and do more than shoot 1 of 7 or give up a couple quick fouls. Yes we all appreciate that the bench players are trying and we need them, but that leaves a lot more pressure on the starters to get it done every night in a long, long conference season. Worst stat of the game is Teahan taking more FGAs than most of the starters. This is what I'm always afraid of, guys like Releford not getting after it on offense even when the team is stalling out. He has to dribble around some picks and make some moves here and there rather than just reverse the ball back. Obviously it hurt with rebounding and scoring having Withey in foul trouble, but again, another guy not getting off shots. Seemed like EJ had took limited strokes as well. Those 3 can't all take the night off from trying to put up big numbers, one of them has to at least be attacking on any given night. All that said, KU didn't box out, key reason for the loss, didn't box out. What was it 11 off rebs to KUs 18 defensive rebs or something crazy, so 38% of the time on a miss they get it back? It always seemed the bigs didn't take care of FTs and the guards didn't box out on FGs. Box out, attack on offense with more than TT and TRob, keep winning games, end of story.

justinryman 4 years, 3 months ago

Got that, "blah" feeling?

Got that, "2:30 in that afternoon" feeling all game?

Got that, "Oh I need to get going" feeling?

Try 5 hour Energy before the game!!!

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

Reiterating from my post above, this is a false choice.

I also don't know if it's accurate to pin the losses that DO happen on lack of bench play. In my opinion, a synonym for "developing a bench" is "developing players who must produce very consistently, but have erratic playing time". That, by definition is a monumentally difficult task--asking young men (and women) to develop consistency while not seeing the consistent playing time to do it.

Because the simple truth is that bench production only REALLY becomes a factor when your proven players (starters) fail to produce, or get into foul trouble.

Winning in a single-elimination format comes down to odds, and leaning heavily on your best and most consistent players gives a team the best odds to win in that format. Increasing the number of players who contribute and thereby reducing the proportion each one contributes may mitigate the risk of having one of your heavy contributors have a bad game, but it also increases the risk in a different way:

When you have more guys playing smaller roles, you fall into the trap of potentially not having anyone who can shoulder the primary burden, and so you begin to depend on a larger group of guys (some of whom aren't as reliable) having a better consistency rating rather than depending on your best players to have consistency.

billnict 4 years, 3 months ago

The Big 12 needs to impose a big fine for rushing the court/field after a game like the SEC did! It's just a matter of time before we see someone get killed!

Shawn Otrimble 4 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate your a fool, and most of the comments you make are always negative. Irishcharlie just because you were dumb enough to invest in a get rich scheme for some stupid energy drink, and now you probably have a room full of the junk nobody wants. Peddle it somewhere else. It's so easy to pick on KU basketball when we are as blessed and spoiled as we are. When we lose other teams storm the courts in our conference. This is supposed to be our down year remember? We are still in first place and ranked in the top ten. I wouldn't trade Bill Self for any coach period. Under Self, our teams are gonna be tough, which I believe was missing from Roy's coaching. Next year we will have some new studs coming in that are going to do some great things at KU. I just can't believe it's February and I'm checking the KU football board every day. Life is good as a Jayhawk alum.

Beate Williams 4 years, 3 months ago

All the coaches on this blog seem to forget that the team practices everyday there is not a game. Those practice sessions give Self a pretty good look at what the bench players can and cannot do. I have the impression that the mistakes made in the game (four seconds for Tharpe for example) are the same mistakes he makes in practice and he does it repeatedly so Self knows what will happen in the game. It's as if the only time Self and his assistants see the bench players is during the games...they watch them everyday and they see them compete or not compete against the starters every day. If Self does not have faith in them, there is a reason why. I think Self is pretty sharp, he seems to have a pretty good feel for people in general, perceptive might be the word, I'm not one to second guess everything he does, especially after a tough loss. There doesn't seem to be this same second guessing after victories.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, there sure are a lot of coaches on this board that have more than 450 wins, multiple conference titles and a national title! For the life of me, I can't understand why KUAD didn't interview some of them and their amazing insight into the things coach can't see in his players!

Benjamin Piehler 4 years, 3 months ago

People wouldn't care about a down year as much if it wasn't the best Missouri team in like 20 years, who are leaving the conference next year, and are contending for a conference title on their way out the door.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago


What kind of a moron does that make you, if you read my comments when you think I'm a fool and I'm always negative. :-)


Shawn Otrimble 4 years, 3 months ago

Did anybody else watch the Mizzu-Texas game? I think the key to beating them is to not let them have easy lay-ups. Let them live and die by the three. Ku needs to mug them when they drive so they will pull up for jump shots. Their jump shots don't fall as good in the second half and Texas almost got away with a win if it wasn't for the easy lay-ups.

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, I did not get a chance to watch it, but I did listen to it on the radio. From what I could discern, it seemed that Texas played A W F U L for about the first 30 minutes of the game. Sure, they were going against the MU defense, but it sounds like UT was missing easy layups, commiting unforced turnovers, and throwing up bricks from the free throw line. (Last time I checked, MU does not play free-throw defense any better than the rest of us)

I agree about forcing MU to shoot jump shots. Think about how poorly KU does when we have to shoot guarded shots from the perimeter. Forcing MU to do the same might be a good gamble, assuming they don't suddenly get hot hands in the friendly confines of Mizzou Arena.

UT had the benefit of getting MU in foul trouble, and that probably helped to fuel the UT comeback in the last 10 minutes. Remember that MU, like KU has a relatively shallow bench this year. The KU-MU games could easily come down to which team/players can stay out of foul trouble.

Did anybody else listen/watch the game? I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

Ironically, UT put up the same number of points at home against both KU and MU (66). Based on what I heard on the radio, I think that UT could have, and should have raised their score into at least the mid 70s last night. But MU and KU both did just enough to escape Austin with a dubya. The two games were eerily similar with UT just missing more opportunities against MU. I hope that this is a reflection of UT playing less well against MU and not that MU did a better job of shutting them down.

KU has a height advantage over MU, but if we don't box out and grab rebounds, it could be a long night in Columbia.

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

MU did not shut them down. Texas had several bonehead plays.

But they lost the game on the defensive end. MU got too many baskets where they just weren't challenged by a single Texas player.

To think, if they had challenged and forced a miss of just ONE of those easy, uncontested layups, Texas probably would have won.

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

Thanks for the input. The LRN annoucers seemed to focus more on UTs offensive instead of defensive struggles.

With apologies to Stupidmicheal, part of me wants to say "I'm scared" in relation to the MU games, because I will be the first to admit that MU is legitimate this year. As a KU fan, it would be a bit hard to watch them head of to the SEC hoisting a Big 12 Conference trophy after sweeping the series with KU.

Another part of me thinks (or perhaps hopes) that KU will restore order in the Big 12 and sweep the series by finally shutting down MU in ways that other teams have not.

In reality, both MU and KU are defying gravity right now. Two teams with little depth are leading a tough conference. MU is doing it with a new coach and a height disadvantage.

Beat OU first!

JHawk06 4 years, 3 months ago

+1 I saw the same thing. We need to cut off the driving lanes and force them to shoot it from outside. However, if we ‘mug’ them our thin front line will get in foul trouble and that would put us in a worse position.

Was do pissed Texas choked at the end

Justin Kruse 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm still pissed at Texas for blowing it. Great call by Haith to come out in zone for the final possession. I wasn't impressed w/ MU at all last night. Texas looked bad and should have won. I'm excited about Saturday; huge game from our bigs!

Rock Chalk 4 years, 3 months ago

Sodas & Gatorade. Gatorade is loaded with sugar. You're on the right track with the green smoothies and wheatgrass shots. Coconut water is a better choice than Gatorade to replace enzymes. That'd be quite a site, wouldn't it, at games? Cans of coconut water being handed to the guys instead of the Gatorade logo'd cups/bottles.

Rock Chalk 4 years, 3 months ago

That works, yes, or just Hawk-aid/Hawkade? It would definitely be mysterious. People would begin to clamor to know what was in such a drink.

Alohahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

If anyone watched the Australian Open Tennis finals this past Saturday night/Sunday morning (or for that matter, any of the matches in Melbourne) the players were consuming a lot of bananas. Don't know what they were drinking, besides water, but the final match lasted almost six hours!

Nadal and Djorjovic (sp) expended a ton of energy during their marathon match. Maybe bananas would be an alternative?

voygr1 4 years, 3 months ago

People this is not unusual if you look back at previous seasons KU and other teams have 2 or 3 games mid season where they struggle. Its the recovery that is important. It happened to Roy and its happened to Duke legs get tired and players can become complacent. Bill Self has done a better job than anyone at bringing a team out of they slumps and getting them back on track, Seven straight league championships!!! All involved a loss that was unexpected toward middle or end of league play even in 208. Hang in there and know they will come back. Lets see where we are at after next four games. Oklahoma, Missouri, Baylor and K-state.

kesmithstl1 4 years, 3 months ago

haha! Love me some Ric Flair! They should dedicate this video to Will Spradling.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

How did I miss this link before today? Damn that is a good link, I spent an hour just watching old Ric Flair videos because of this one link.

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 3 months ago

Well all you posters who keep questioning Self's bench management (icthawk, Shaw etc...), there is your explanation straight from the horse's mouth. Bench players are not valuing the basketball and are not competing enough to see floor time. Quit b*tching because now you know EXACTLY why Self is not playing his bench extended mins. They are just not good enough right now.
And for all the posters who think that he should sit back and watch Tharpe get ripped, KY get blown by on defense, on the road in confrence while leading the pack in the standings, are the same posters who would be on here crying and up in arms if they saw that and knw Taylor or EJ were on the bench.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

Those points would be valid, that Tharpe is not valuing the ball and thus he is not good enough to see the court, except he kept Taylor in the game at the start of the year when he wasn't valuing the ball right? And KY getting blown by on defense would be a great reason for not having him in the game, if Connor wasn't in the game doing the same thing, all the while clanking more shots than some of the starters. If you've read any of my posts from many other articles, I am not opposed to the starters getting as many minutes as possible, but just that KY should be seeing more of Connor's minutes. Since either is not going to be a good defender, and with Connor bricking 3s at an alarming rate, why not put in the athletic, long, superior rebounder?

(mandatory ZIG disclaimer: I do not know more than Coach Self, I could not do a better job, I love the 84% winning percentage, could do with a few less early tourney flame-outs, but love my coach. My opinions are neither "b*tching" nor "crying", just opinions. The perspectives of a passionate fan, who did not know that blind, unquestioning faith of every decision was a prerequisite of fanhood")

KansasComet 4 years, 3 months ago

Nice post, I enjoyed reading it. Thanks!

Jack Wilson 4 years, 3 months ago

It's tough when facts get in the way .. the same things that supposedly limit players this season, and have limited them in the past, are the same things committed by players who play .. and sometimes to a greater degree.

And your disclaimer is well-advised.

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 3 months ago

That may be true, but if you put the ball in the hands of a player who isn't yet able to value it for one possession, imagine how many turnovers he will have in 30 minutes. And TT has a lot of equity built up, plus the ability to drop 20+ points on any given opponent, any given night. Self would be downright silly to trust a player based on a couple months over a player he has had for 3 1/2 years. I just don't think Big XII play is the time to let a player play through their mistakes, that's why we play a handful of scrubs every December.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

4 seconds really? So,,,,,,,,,,,,,,it happened once when Tharpe got picked and he got yanked so.............the following game............he is thinking about that exact same play trying to not repeat it and guess what......................the exact same thing happens and now he's thinking to himself, "Gosh darn it, I can't do anything right." He's thinkng instead of just playing and that IMO is where his confidence is completely shattered and that I believe without a doubt is on Self. We'll see, with his comments in this article, if Self changes something up or loosens on his stance in order to find some productivity.

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

Except when you leave out the most important facts:

1) Tyshawn Taylor is a 4th-year player who has show more than enough ability to overcome his occasional turnover proneness. Naadir Tharpe is a freshman who has not.

2) Similar to #1 - Taylor's overall stat line--when his entire contribution to the game is accounted for--is much better than Tharpe's.

3) I can't remember a single TT turnover as bad as the one Naadir had in the game against A&M (not sure if I have that right), where he had the ball stripped at half court while he was simply bringing the ball up, not trying to make a play.

Surely you and icthawkfan316 understand why it's disingenuous to compare TT's and NT's turnovers on equal footing?

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

Marchphog - I agree that the Tyshawn-Tharpe analogy was not the best to make my point to ZIG. The Connor-KY situation is though.

As to your point 3)...Tyshawn has done that same thing multiple times this year. Maybe not right at half-court (I think Naadir was actually in the back-court, maybe at aTm's 3-point line if memory serves), but just as easily taken from him just dribbling with no real purpose. Again, I concede that my comparison was not an apples-to-apples situation there and other factors should obviously be considered. But just thought it warranted a mention that yes, Tyshawn has been guilty of exactly the same thing.

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 3 months ago

Good points ict, and well laid out. Its nice to see you not on the attack and using reason instead of vitriol... However, your points miss the mark. Self has chosen to ride or die w/ TT. We know that and most of us have been pulling our hair out for the last 4 years because of it. Obviously TT has an upside that most guards in the country don't have, much less the reserve guards on our bench. Plus the fact he's been in Self's system for 4 years and Self feels much comfortable w/ him in there because he at least knows what he's supposed to be doing. No one on this board believes that Self should be developing Tharpe at the expense of TT's mins in the confrence season. Non-con maybe... I have to agree w/ you on KY. I think he has more to offer from an athletic standpoint and has the potential to develop into a pretty good player. Much higher upside than CT. I can't stand seeing CT in there. Everytime I see him check in, I want him out. Would I prefer to see KY out there? Yeah, but at this point, I'd rather see Merv out there just to see ehat he's got. But, and this is where my "blind faith" comes in, I trust Self. We have to. If he thinks CT is a better option than the others, chances are, he is. The fact is he observes these kids on a daily basis and he has so much more to draw upon when making these decisions. If Self were winning about half his games and had 0-1 conf championships, I might think or agree that he is doing something wrong or is mismanaging his team. But that's not the case. The man is winning 84% of his games, blah blah blah... That gives me reason to believe that he knows what he is doing.... Plus, let's not pretend we have a top notch bench over there. We have two walk-ons who have schollies because we had no one else to fill them. We are extremely thin on talent after our top 5 and extended mins to try and develop some of those guys (at the expense of our starters) doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Let's keep it clean today ict, no resorting to name calling or insults.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

Zig, Nice job of mastering the flipping obvious and adding next to nothing as usual. :-)

I won't say you can do better, because there has been no sign of it.

But I keep hoping.

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 3 months ago

Awww Jaybate, thanks! That means so much to me coming from you. Stick and stones my man.

I wish I could comment more on your posts, but I usually don't find myself reading those incoherent ramblings. But I, too, am a hopeful person. And I shall someday soon take time to read one of your posts hoping for something other than gibberish. We'll see.........

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

ict and HEM,

It is fair for you to point out the asymmetric treatment of subs and starters.

It is also fair for Self to rely on his asymmetric rule of treatment of subs and starters, if that's what he wants.

You two appear to argue giving subs longer leashes would help them develop faster. I've been around this barn with you both a number of times and we've all agreed to disagree respectfully as fellow Jayhawks.

Self casts the deciding vote on this by approaching it this way: he starts the guys he thinks have the best tradeoffs of talent and fundamentals, and lets them play through the up and down cycles that you point out lead him into letting starters play while they make too many TOs, where as he short hooks subs that make TOs.

But my current problem with Self is not who he is playing and who he gives the long and short leashes to. Given the scheme he has laid out, I think his player choices so far have been logical and justifiable, if one thinks his rule of asymmetric treatment of starters and subs is effective in getting the most out of the starters and limiting the downsides of the subs as much as possible, as I still do.

Where I am starting to part ways with him is on the scheme itself. The scheme I am referring to is building toward a tenacious m2m team that subs KY and Justin 10-15 mpg for Thomas and Jeff, and Conner and Naadir 10-15mpg for TT, EJ, and Travis.

But as Self has played the four back-ups less and less, it has ramped the starters minutes up so high that it is not feasible for them to perform at a high level for 35-40 minutes when games come Sat-Wed-Stat, or Sat-Monday. The declining offensive efficiency, and Self's recognition of lack of energy, are indicators.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

In fairness, I rather suspect that some, or all of the backups are fighting injuries, just as some of the starters are. Thomas injured a knee that seemed to recover slowly, but the he has grown less active. Withey clearly has a problem with one leg that has never even been commented on. Travis was wearing a boot (maybe still is) and now we learn he had a sprained wrist. If Self stays mum on his starters, there is every reason to think he would try to conceal his subs problems even more. The last thing you want the opposing coach to learn is that one sub on a thin bench is injured; then they attack the starter relentlessly to get him fouled up, because they no there is nothing but a crop behind him.

So the injuries may, or may not, be feeding into the poor play that is hampering the scheme, but bottom line the scheme seems compromised at this time.

When KY and Justin were playing adequately and seeming to be on a slow ramp up, the scheme made sense as a scheme that would grow increasingly sound as the season wore on. The subs could rest the minutes without a huge drop off in defense and maybe Conner and KY could score some from their positions.

But now Conner, KY and Justin are sputtering and Naadir is in the black hole.

This is why I have argued the scheme needs to be changed, rather than asking guys to play better. The subs, and the starters, appear to, given the distribution of minutes; i.e., without energy, with falling offensive efficiency, and with bigs playing so much hedge and chase 20 feet from the iron that they can not control the boards.

There are two options here:

a) stay m2m and switch the bigs so they are never playing hedge and chase; and

b) go to a 1 guard, 4 big 3-2 zone, for 3-5 minute stretches and actually get some good out of the wingspans and fouls of KY and Justin on the wings.

This zone played 10 minutes a half would keep our perimeter rested, keep Withey and Thomas in the game longer, but with a hole bunch less hedge and chase, allow us to dominate the boards without being vulnerable to the trey, and would give opponents more to prepare for. Finally, keeping our perimeter guys minutes down will cause their trey percentages to climb back up, because their legs will be back under them.

And Self could do as he chooses regarding starters and subs and length of leash.

The former seems too easy to counter to me, so I advocate the latter.

So: for my two cents, the problem is the scheme has grown obsolete.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

jaybate - My point here is not one of developing the bench (although my comment about Tharpe & Tyshawn might come off that way. Not the best analogy to illustrate the point I was trying to make to ZIG). As I stated Sunday (I think), I am actually not in favor of developing this bench at the expense of minutes to the starters. Under no circumstance do I foresee this group progressing enough (at least this year) to the point that they are serviceable in the event of an injury or foul trouble. If Tyshawn rolls an ankle and is out for 5 games, no amount of minutes given to Tharpe would make a significant difference to where he is in a position to lead this team to wins, in my opinion. The same for Wesley and Merv. And really, the time for developing Tharpe with major minutes has passed. Against the Howards, North Dakotas, etc I would have liked to see him in there with the starters for a 4-minute stretch. But we're in the conference grind now. He is best served learning in practice. Also, in so much as it relates to the big picture, I don't foresee any of these players assuming larger roles next season, except in the case of Tharpe probably moving to the back-up point guard in which we could expect 10-15 min/game, and I think he will be ready for those responsibilities given a year with the team and practicing against his teammates. I had thought this about the bench players not stepping into larger roles all along, and Self's comments regarding the difficulty of stepping up next year only confirms this.

So I'm all for Self playing the starters as many minutes as they can take this season. My only nit-picking regarding the bench is wanting to see KY more minutes at the 3 and that they should come at the expense of Connor's playing time. I know he has to steal some minutes in the post, but he's not exactly playing 30 min/game now, so there should be some room to juggle him between the two positions. I read that you think this is unlikely, because he cannot master one position let alone two, and because he needs KY in the post spelling minutes there. And those are fair points. I don't see everything that Self sees - if KY is out of position and should have set a screen but didn't, for example, so he may be hurting us more than I realize with his sub-par defense. My only observations are that when he has been in the game, on the rare occasion at the 3, he seems to give us more than Connor is giving us right now. And you say he needs to be playing in the post. On the surface that would seem accurate, with Wesley accumulating fouls at an alarming rate he simply cannot stay in the game long enough to give the starters the breather they need. But right now KY is only averaging 10 min/game. As Shaw pointed out, leading up to the ISU game he saw game action of 4, 2, & 4 minutes. So it would appear he is not an invaluable resource in the post.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago


I too would like to see some zone mixed in, although I had not given much thought to your take on it until yesterday. As much as it intrigues me, I wonder about how effective it would be. Going back to your point that KY can't master one position let alone two, I wonder how well he (as well as the team as a whole) would be able to execute a zone. I know you know this, but zones are not as simple as they may appear. It's not just "go cover this area on the court". Teams that don't practice playing zones a lot are often prone to fouling more often when asked to play it in games. They often leave shooters and driving lanes open with more frequency due to the unfamiliarity with their responsibilities in the zone. And even teams that are fluent in playing zones are often inferior at rebounding the basketball. I just think it would take a commitment to more time in practice than we have at this juncture. And while I never begrudge anybody theorizing or offering opinions, I highly doubt Bill will ever abandon his man-to-man enough to achieve the level of proficiency needed to pull it off.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

Zig: I don't know if you're not reading the material and just making assumptions or you're not comprehending the material that has been posted. Go back and read all of my comments from Sunday and let me know if this article is actually "Perect Timing" or "On Par" with what I've been saying and stressing.

I fully agree with Icthawk fan in this situation.

"It’s not about playing hard. I’m talking about just being enthusiastic, energetic. When we do that, we’re pretty good. When we are not (energized), we don’t appear to be near as athletic and don’t seem to make plays that players make when games are tight."

Remember Zig, the article the other day was talking about the "Thin Bench" nothing more and nothing less. That is the issue I was addressing at that time. With the first part of the quote above................who is Self probably addressing most with that comment? Maybe the whole team? Maybe EJ? Maybe Conner? Probably everyone in some capacity.

With that said, I addressed that Conner through my own observations was "Not Having Fun" on the court. That can suck the ever living life out of you and drain all of your energy if you're not having fun out there. IMO, I think that quote is directed straight towards, EJ, Conner, KY, and some degree Tharpe.

As for Tharpe, the chatter about yanking Tharpe 4 seconds after a mistake is also the point I was addressing on Sunday? The kid is already stressed enough about trying to not make a mistake and when he does..................Immediately yanked? Why not, clap your hands, give him a good stern yelling from the sideline and pump your fists in a sign of confidence that "You Can" get this done!

BTW, I'm glad Self has addressed this issue and I'm LJW brought it up. I still think Self is mis-managing Tharpe and KY, but at least it's been addressed! Now we can sit back and see how Self is going to address the issue going forward now that he has made public statements about it.

With that said, I just want you to know that I still have faith in you and I believe in you Zig! I'm not going to replace you just yet.........however, your room for error is getting thinner and thinner.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

One other thing, Zig. You say you've been an advocate follower for over 20 years and you're not some college groupie, but not once have you offered advice or a solution to the topics at hand.

All you do is to continue to single out indivuals (Myself and Icthawk) as well as groups "Questioning Self's bench management" and those who "should sit back and watch" groups and complain about their stances...............yet you don't provide a forum or stance where you can stand on your own two feet and support for yourself. I've yet to hear it!

Which side of the fence are you on? What is your take? Should the starters just play 35 minutes a game? Don't complain about the debate unless you have something of value to add or have an opinion to voice.

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 3 months ago

I don't have any advice or solutions at hand. Jesus! You people take yourselves so GD serious! I am an alum first and foremost a fan second and a critic a distant 3rd. If I knew so GD much about basketball, I'd be a paid consultant. But you know what, I'm not. And neither are you, Ict or Jaybate. So get over your f-ing self!

You know what, I do have some advice, for you. Have some f-ing faith in the man who has won you 84% of the games he's coached, has put 7 consecutive conf championship banners in our building, 5 conf tourney championship banners and, oh yeah, a f-ing national championship. The man knows what he is doing. Do we have a right to question his judgement from time to time? You bet. But to beat a dead horse day in and day out is absurd. Go find another cause. Try sitting back and just rooting for the team instead of sitting there thinking of all the ways HCBS is screwing up. I can just envision you now w/ a notepad during a game critiquing his gameplan and thinking about how you are going to "instruct" all us board rats on the error of Self's ways after a game. Please. The only thing I have to complain about the debate is.. the debaters.

The only reason we are even talking about this is because we are sitting in an unexpected position at this point in the year. I think you would agree that we all probably thought we were a 3rd or 4th place team when the season started. If that was the case, you wouldn't be talking about how Self is mis-managing his bench, you would be probably be saying something to the effect of "this is where we expected to be, because it is a down year". But no, this coach, who can't seem to manage his own bench, has coached his a$$ off to a 7-1 conf record and sole possesion of 1st place. So now here come the "holier than thou" coaches on the message boards. Give me a break! How's that for a "stance"?

Have some faith in the man. He knows what he is doing. Enjoy the ride.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

Your first sentence of your reply says it all! You have zero advice, knowledge, and an opinion that is stagnant on all levels? I mean that's what you're saying, right? If you have a problem than just stick to being an alum and fan and leave the dirty work to the those who want to actually talk about and understand the game.

I've tried to give you an opportunity to prove yourself, but you still don't "Get It". Your fanhood is different than mine which is fine, but you have more of a direct negative approach towards the posters than you do the topic at hand which is "Kansas Basketball".

When you can talk about Kansas Basketball objectively without getting your feelings hurt than maybe.........just and I can converse on the same level.

When you can actually identify what, "The same old dead horse is day in and day out?" is to me than maybe we can have a thoughful conversation.

I talked about the thin bench on Sunday and I gave my stance and opinions and I stand by them. You have chosen to avoid my praise throughout the season to only focus on a few observations that you view as negative. I view it at as constructive criticism or construtive observations which is a big difference IMO.

I've enjoyed this season as much as anyone and this has been one of my favorite teams since the 1991 season! This season is also shaping up similar, with the bench deficiencies that the 2003 National Championship runner up squad faced.

Maybe you should just stick with your first choice above and be strictly an alum, which seems to be what you want.

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 3 months ago

Yep, that's right, I don't have any advice for Coach Self other than to keep it up because it seems to be working. Thank you for the opportunity to "prove" myself. You think pretty highly of yourself don't you? The dead horse you keep beating is Self's mis-management of his bench. Ok? We get it. But I still think I'm going to put my faith in coach Self rather than you. Is that clear enough for you? I have chosen to avoid your praise this season? I don't care Shaw. I don't read your each and every take. Nobody does. I don't agree with your take on Self mis-managing his bench. Its that f-ing simple. I don't think he is, I have faith in the man that he knows his players better than you or I do. "When you can talk about Kansas Basketball objectively without getting your feelings hurt than maybe.........just and I can converse on the same level." What? Trust me, you are not hurting any feelings of mine. If anything, i appreciate the laughter you have given me the last couple of days. To see the "legends" of this board get so up in arms when someone challenges them, is funny to me. Not everyone is going to agree w/ your every post. I'll talk basketball philosophy w/ you all day Shaw, you are not getting rid of me by simply just insulting my basketball intelligence.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago


Treat Zig as a kid with oppositional disorder and you will not have to fence with him.

Zig, the only one taking himself seriously is you.

Don't oppose me, Zig. :-)

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 3 months ago

What the hell are you talking about?

I used to rather enjoy you on these boards and certainly haven't said anything in "opposition" to you. I generally agree w/ most of your logic and might be one of the few posters on here who actually gets your stupid jokes.

Its funny that when a poster disagrees w/ one of the "legends", how you all close ranks and try to ridicule and minimize our opinions as "flipping obvious" or somehow not worthy of your merit. You're like Ellsworth Toohey to our Howard Roark, and I've got news for you, we aren't going anywhere. I'll be right here all season post after post for you to take pot shots at. And lets be honest, being on the wrong side of Jaybate is probably a good thing for me. You're following seems to be quite thin these days. Just like the KU bench! Zinggggggg!!!!!!

And tell your dog that he is to pi$$ outside in the morning, not in your bowl of Cheerios. Rock Chalk jerk

Brianna Zaleski 4 years, 3 months ago

You're a good man, Charlie Brown. Thank you

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

With a name like "Drgnslayr" you slay anything and everything on this site. :)

Don't discount are the Legendslayr!

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

ZIG...good grief.

Now, I'm going to try and do this in the most non-threatening way. I am all in favor of keeping it clean and avoiding name-calling & insults, not just today but everyday. However, I honestly think you come on here sometimes looking for a fight. Or at the very least, you're all too eager to engage in one. And I think the reason for that comes from a good place - being a KU fan. I think you see any criticisms or differences of opinion as an attack on our coach. And for whatever reason, you feel the need to defend him. This is misguided on so many levels. First of all, just because I disagree with something in coach Self's coaching philosophy does not mean that I don't think he's a great coach. And as I've said before, it doesn't mean that I know more than him or could do a better job. I couldn't coach a local high school team to any level of success, much less at an elite D-1 school with all the nuances of recruiting and everything else that goes along with the gig. It doesn't mean I lack faith in coach Self. It means that as a fan, from my perspective, this is what I am seeing and I wonder if he did something else, something different, might that be better. It certainly doesn't mean I am "taking him to task" as you accused shaw of yesterday.

The second thing wrong with your approach is that you feel the need to constantly defend him against what you feel are criticisms, but what I think shaw more accurately described as constructive observations. The thing that I think you are failing to grasp is that we are not using this site as a platform to talk to coach Self. We are simply talking amongst our fellow fans. Certainly there are trolls on here that deserve your level of disdain, but you aren't targeting them. You're directing your venom at posters who are on here everyday, ones who I wouldn't think to question their allegiance to KU or to Self, and who just want to discuss KU basketball with fellow fans. Sure we could all sit around saying "man...Self is great! Love that 84% winning record!", but that is boring, and that is the dead horse you are beating. I think that most fans are thrilled with that, but we don't want to come in everyday and re-state the obvious - that we are KU fans and have tons of respect & admiration for our coach.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago


This is a forum to discuss KU hoops. If we have an opinion we are free to share it, and if you disagree you are free to offer up a reason why. But instead of simple disagreement, you come out swinging with disrespect. Even today, unprovoked, you singled me & shaw out, and claimed we were "b*tching" and "crying". Can you not see how that is the wrong way to go about disagreeing with someone's opinions? I mean, I don't care really. Not like it hurts my feelings. But you're not going to get a lot of reasonable back-and-forth debate with that approach. And maybe you don't want that, which is fine. There's nothing wrong with simply being a fan, watching the games, rooting for our team & coach, etc. I just don't get why you feel the need to come in here and jump someone's case because they voice their opinion on how another way of doing things might yield different results.

Anyway, just some friendly advice. We don't have to experience our fanhood in exactly the same way. Just remember that myself, shaw, and other true fans on here are not the enemy, even if we disagree sometimes.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

The only thing Zig and I agree on which is two words, "Well said indeed"! Oops, I spoke to soon..................

SDSurferFan 4 years, 3 months ago

Selfs remarks about his bench are about as blatant as I have ever heard from him or anyone else in coaching. If he says this to the media I would love to know what he tells them directly.

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Self has just fired off a double barrell Browning .12 guage, one cylinder at his listless starters, the other at his incompetent bench. Are starters suffering from midseason exhaustion, or merely growing careless and inattentive to game plan? Will current bench players ever see much game action in Jayhawk uniforms, this season or next? In blunt psychological savvy, the commander has just called out his troops. For both starters and bench, the future is now. Do or die....

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

And a howitzer at his subs. The shell fragments spell you suck right now and you'll be lucky to be kept around next year at this rate.

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Well, my imagery did wander a bit astray. Those double barrell blasts were intended to whizz by, at least a foot above their ears.

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Wise decision regarding Senior Night speeches, seniors only. Thomas a very very special player; in their own ways, so were Cole, Marcus, Markieff, Brandon, Mario, Shady and others. The 4 year commitment remains very special in its own light, rare and to be given appreciative accolades for the student athletes who have stayed the course.

RockChalk26 4 years, 3 months ago

It will be a busy off season for the Kansas bench players, finding a school to transfer to and all.

Self is basically saying, "Step up or ship out."

HawkKlaw 4 years, 3 months ago

Of course energy is going to be a factor when you can't rely on your bench for production. That's the nature of this year's squad. Teahen needs to start hitting shots. And since he is the sixth man, he's got to step up his defensive tenacity. Young and Wesley need to be much more consistent. They have the skills to be great role players. Naadir obviously needs a lot of experience and maturity.

And that's just the bench. As far as our starters go, EJ and Travis need to be more consistent offensively. There's really no excuse for their lack of production. Our offense is centered around passing the ball quickly from side to side and making good entry passes to the post players. EJ and Releford should be pros at that. However, our offense often stalls and looks lethargic (which is probably due to the lack of energy Coach Self speaks of). It's time to step it up.

The good news, though, is that Tyshawn, TRob and Withey are all playing great basketball. Self knows that the team is on their collective backs. And until HCBS can get some consistency from the rest of the team, energy is going to be a factor.

joshar 4 years, 3 months ago

It says: “We haven’t been as energized the last two games. We’ve played flat,” Self said of Wednesday’s 64-54 home victory over Texas A&M and Saturday’s 72-64 loss at Iowa State.

Wasn't the Texas A&M game on Monday instead of Wednesday?

DallasJay14 4 years, 3 months ago

I love the comments that Coach Self made about Tharpe. I think he has a lot of work to be done and if all of you remember Russ Rob did not get any playing time when he was a freshman and almost transfered. I am not saying Tharpe is Russ Rob, but I think he will have the talent and quickness to eventually be a solid PG.

Rock Chalk!

Andy Tweedy 4 years, 3 months ago

I think you've found a pretty good comparison.

Alohahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Hope you're right, because KU definitely needs PG support next season. EJ will most likely take TT's place, but KU needs Tharpe to demonstrate something to make his presense felt, to prove to Self he can back EJ up next year.

I like Tharpe's enthusiasm and he's shown his love of being a Jayhawk. However, despite KU's backup needs, I'm concerned that Tharpe won't be around next season if Self hasn't at least seen something, anything, positive in his play before the season ends.

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

The thing about Naadir, he has been offered a marvelous opportunity for significant minutes, considering this team's makeup and Tyshawn's early season blunders...and he has not risen to the call. Russ Rob did not have so many opportunities because Miles was such a steady senior point guard. Then, of course, Russell got into Bill Self's doghouse by opting not to go into a game for a closing mop up minute or two. That immature frosh decision sealed his fate as a bench fixture, even when his game might have relieved an exhausted starter at season's end.

lincase 4 years, 3 months ago

However, he turned it around to become one of my favorite players. I still miss the fans screaming: "NEW YORK, NEW YORK!" He stayed and got to give a senior speech.

lincase 4 years, 3 months ago

I do know about capital letters. For some reason they went away when I posted. Hmmm

Jack Wilson 4 years, 3 months ago

For discussion .. two things: 1) On ict's coattails a bit here .. why isn't KY a better option than Teahan at the 3? Oh, I get KY's poor footwork on defense. Let's call it a 3 or 4 out of 10. Then Teahan's footwork .. perhaps, benefit of the doubt .. a 4.5 or a 5.5 from the Soviet judge. A bit better. But the total package has to be considered.

This is not the first time that coach Self has gotten on folks for rebounding, or energy.

Does anyone question KY's rebounding or energy?

As a total package, I'd go with KY for more minutes; still can insert Teahan to see if the 3-ball is working. If Teahan's 3-ball isn't working, very little value other than a body.

Curious as to what others might think there.

2) I made a point after the loss to Iowa St. that although there are a number of factors .. we've seen a number referenced .. one that I think is definitive. If Releford asserts himself aggressively on the offensive end, we win. Speculation, I agree. Passing around the perimeter. Waiting for the perfect opening. Passive. Passive.

On another team, maybe. On this team, no way. We have to have another aggressive scoring option on this team. Some guys (EJ, Teahan) standing at the arc shooting 30% or so don't count. This team changes offensively if Releford attacks, is aggressive, takes what he wants by exploiting overplays, slashes, etc.

We head to MU Saturday and if Mr. Passive is afraid to make a mistake, and Teahan and EJ continue to be Teahan and EJ around the arc ... well, you know the likely result. MU will try to take away TRob. Their guards are generally quick enough to cause TT problems. Surely that will be the gameplan. Take away TRob, slide and limit TT's penetration. Put TT in positions to make mistakes. And basically take their chances with everything else.

Releford playing aggressively changes that. Of course, so does EJ or Teahan banging down 3s. I like the % chances with Releford over relying on 3s.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

If KY ever figures out the 4, then Self will let him see more minutes at the 3, but he remains often confused at the 4. And Self has to have someone who can at least be a modest threat to score at the 4. Conner is a modest threat to score at the 3. KY has a slightly better chance of defending 4's because of his height. If Justin came out of his funk and scored a little too, as he did early, then I think we would see quite a bit of KY at the 3 right now. But that ain't happening yet.

If Releford gets his boot off and his wrist heals, and someone can spell him defensively for 5 minutes a half, then he could do what you ask. But with a boot, a bum wrist and no rest? Pretty tough to go 40 minutes as the number one defender and number one scorer.

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

1) I think the reason for CT getting more PT than KY can be summed up like this: Teahan is a bad defender because he's not athletic enough, but for the most part, he seems to know where he's supposed to be at what times. Not always, but most of the time. Young, on the other hand, is super-athletic and should be a good defender, but is bad because he doesn't seem to grasp basic defensive positioning. In the ISU game, I remember a fast break where ISU got a layup even though KY was between the dribbler and the basket, simply because he stepped the wrong way and gave the ballhandler a clear path right to the hoop.

I think Self, if given the choice between a defender who understands but is physically outmatched and a defender who has the physical tools but can't grasp the positioning side of things, will choose the understanding side every time. At least you can scheme for an unathletic player who knows what he should be doing. A player who doesn't understand positioning is too erratic to compensate for with coaching. At least, that's my best guess.

2) Not sure how I feel about this. I like the idea of Releford being aggressive, because it's never bad to give your opponent more people to worry about on defense. That being said, the most important task Releford will have on Saturday is making sure Missouri Player X doesn't go off. Missouri is an average defensive team at best (currently ranked 64th by defensive efficiency in the entire country), so I think KU will be able to exploit them on defense, given their lack of post length, even if they try to double TRob or clog the middle of the lane. On the other side of things, MU will be the best offensive team we have played this year (currently ranked 2nd by offensive efficiency in the entire country).

If we get stops, we will win. If we hold MU to 67 points, we will win.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

We are going to go through MU like crap through a goose.

MU is a short post man and four guards.

This is actually quite easy to dismantle a number of ways and Self will use all of them.

What ever problems this KU team has with lack of "energy" lately, in Columbia MO there will be a ton of energy, it will come from the MU crowd, the KU players will thrive on it, and KU will kick Haith's runts back up into the cheap seats. You read it here first.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

Couldn't agree more about playing KY over Teabagger.

Ask yourself, who has the potential to get better over the rest of the season? At best Teabagger will find his shot, but at no point will he be a strong rebounder or defender.

If we put Teabagger in against a fast, four-guard lineup like Mizzou, they are going to get open looks and easy layups, possibly leading to fouls by our big men. Not good, not good.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

We are all freakin' out about the loss to Iowa State... Look, I told you guys that they were a good team, they just needed time, and that they would "get" somebody. They got us, it sucks, but they did.

I was dead on about Iowa State, but I was absolutely wrong about KU this year.

I absolutely expected us to finish 3rd or 4th. We have no bench. This was known when everybody declared last season and we lost three incoming freshman. I fully expected Withey to get pushed around under the basket. I expected Taylor to be insane by now, right up there with Metta World Peace. All of these things I expected, and man I stand corrected.

This team is leading a division in a very "up" year with teams that have more depth, more guards, and/or more overall talent. For the most part, Withey has played great, Taylor is our only aggressive guard, and TRob has been one of the best big men in the country. This team is one or two bench players from being elite.

They have played one of the toughest schedules in the country, and here we are, four losses in, and pissed? I was worried we would have six or seven at this point.

I feel like Young is the guy that will finally step it up, the tools are there to stretch defenses out, he just needs to get it in his head to do it. (And no, Teabagger is not the guy to do it, sorry to all the fangirls out there in love with the pretty boy face, he is a defensive liability.)

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

Agree with you about KU exceeding expectations.

Agree about ISU also exceeding expectations.

Agree with Icthawk et. al. about ISU just being a bad matchup for others.

Agree with all who are in favor of penalties/arrests for storming the court.

Disagree with the use of the word Teabaxxer.

HawkKlaw 4 years, 3 months ago


Despite how frustrated we all are with Teahen's play, there's no reason for name-calling. Especially when the guy is on the team you're supposed to be rooting for...

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

Thanks to Hawk and Ict. The Felines to the East and West will slam our characters enough without us helping them.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

You may have called the ISU game. Nobody is doubting they are a good team, but I would think that we are better. Yes we are in a better position than many had thought, and are still having a good year. And I agree that a loss on the road in their place is not cause for a "the sky is falling" attitude. But it's more than the ISU loss that has both fans and coach Self concerned. For two games straight they have played flat (according to coach Self). In half of their conference games they've been out-rebounded. Against aTm they narrowly won the rebounding battle and played significantly down to a lower-half of the conference team at home. We were out-played for 65-70 of the 80 minutes in the two games against ISU. We were out-rebounded by OU, our immediate foe. And despite the belief that we should be able to dispatch the Sooners, the more pressing matter is the game in Columbia on Saturday (not saying the team should be looking past OU, but as fans we are afforded that luxury).

Now as I've said, I don't think it's fatigue. These are well-conditioned young athletes. Surely a breather would help, but they were out-played from the get-go against ISU. That cannot be blamed on late-game fatigue. In my opinion, it is a focus/effort problem. Coach Self has said before that the margin for error with this team is small. So when they aren't 100% dialed in, losses will happen. My concern is that the aTm game should have been enough to get their attention; to clue them into the fact that they don't have enough talent top-to-bottom to coast by teams. And rebounding, as I've said, is as much about attitude, effort, & "want-to" as it is about being physically talented. The rebounding numbers in conference games tells me that they have another gear they can get to, when they want to.

Also agree with Phoghorn in that you should discontinue use of the term "Teabagger". I agree that he has shortcomings and that KY is the better option at this point. I've said as much in other posts. But it is not Connor's fault. He was never meant to be in this position. He was brought in as a walk-on, and because of recruiting misses he has been thrust into a position greater than himself. He tries, and despite his shortcomings and mine or other fans' wish to see his minutes reduced, he certainly deserves our respect.

Benjamin Piehler 4 years, 3 months ago

Have a little more respect for a kid who grew up in Kansas and had the opportunity to live out a dream of his playing for our team.

I realize Teahan hasn't been getting it done lately, but hes been thrown into a situation where he has to play more minutes than probably even Bill Self thought he would ever have to. Dismissing him with a crass pun about his name is totally unfair. I guarantee you he knows he's been making mistakes and is working hard to fix them...

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

Of course you did. So did others. Wake up you knob.

But things have changed.

We've come far.

I'm not gripping about the lost to ISU.

I'm gripping about the declining offensive efficiency, and rebounding and trey shooting funk of recent weeks.

I'm gripping that the starters are wearing down and we're just starting February.

Come on, Krohnutz, you used to be able to keep up better than this.

Repeat after me, this is February, we are 17-4, in first place, but our vital signs are ramping down not up. We have something worth saving here, if we can just find a way to reverse the trend in the vital signs.

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

We are currently 11th in offensive efficiency.

We are currently 3rd in defensive efficiency.

Both of those ranks are right around where we have been for the last month or so. I'm not sure how much of a 'trend' that can be seen as...

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

Great empirical counter, marchphog.

I'm a data head and I listen to numbers.

National or conference?

If you say there is no measurable change, then I have to change my mind. :-)

This is where streak shooters from trey can fool you and that is what we have in CT and EJ.

aTm knew us cause of Kyle.

Hoiberg is a clever fellow.

Maybe both created the illusion of a decline in efficiency from dead legs.

I hope so, but...doubt it.

Sam Constance 4 years, 3 months ago

That's national, and I can't go back and see what the rankings were on any specific week, so I can't objectively confirm.

That being said, our defensive efficiency has ranked in the top 5 for the last month or so, and our offensive efficiency has ranked between 8-15 for about the same period.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

Two games do not mark a trend. We played outstanding ball in the conference so far in games outside of aTm and Iowa State.

Has our trey shooting been terrible of late? Well, from certain people, yes. From Taylor, not one bit.

Look, my problem is not that TeaHAN (that make you happy?) is not hitting treys, it is that IF he is not hitting consistently, being such a defensive liability, it makes him a weakness on the floor that other teams with familiarity (like this in our conference) seek to exploit.

Also, I would expect our numbers to decline INSIDE the conference. Those teams know you, they play you every season.

It was one game, and Iowa State was out to win their game-of-the-year. They won, good for them. Let's get back to the drawing board and see if we can get defenses from cheating in the post.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

I'm not stopping referring to him as Teabagger, he got that name from me long before he was "unpopular," and I don't begrudge the guy personally one bit. It was the only way I could remember his name, and it had nothing to do with malice, so I'm not changing it. He got the name when Obama used it back in 2009, as back then the words were not synonymous with drunken football fans and their genitalia (THANK YOU SEC!). Note this article off ABC news:

The name was good enough for him then, it was good enough for him now. I refuse to change my nicknames because of some drunk LSU/Alabama fools.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

OK, OK, just to make you sensitive types happy, I'll change his nickname to something that sticks with me.

He had a nickname once, so he has to remain with a nickname. And by the laws of the United States Government, the nickname has to be foolish, nerdy, or refer to something that the person obviously is not (like big guys named Tiny, or fat guys named Slim).

Therefore, Connor Teahan's new nickname in my house is MacTeehan. He is now Connor MacTeehan of the clan MacTeehan. He was born in the Highlands of Scotland, he is immortal, and there can be only one.

Phoghorn 4 years, 3 months ago

It is not about sensitivity, it is about maintaining some sense of decorum. Teabaxxer is a term used for the sole purpose of denigrating a certain group of people. It has no purpose here.

Krohnutz 4 years, 3 months ago

I was going to be mature about this, but after reading that part about "decorum" and not offending a "certain people" here...

First off, the Tea Party coined the term Teabagger for themselves. Sorry they didn't do their homework because it stuck.

Second, I'm sure Connor cannot sleep at night because of a goofy name given to him by a fan. I'm sure the guy is as stodgy and uppity about the term as posters who get offended by words that have been "obviously derogatory" for the last month.

Third, I'm sorry people know the "other" reference for the word because some boozed up Alabama idiot got facial with some passed out LSU idiot. I was shocked and appalled by the behavior of those drunks and would have "never" expected it from them.

I have been referring to him for that for three freaking years and nobody even knew the other meaning of it.

Here, do this, go back and flag all the times I called him Teabagger in the history of my posts. If you don't have time, let's have somebody else do it. Maybe we can make it a collective. Actually, call Connor and have him do it. Let's "retroactively derogatize" the word. Report them all, get me banned, because if this website is going to be that lame, I'm done with it.

In no way, shape, or form is the word Teabagger synonymous with racial epithets against a "certain people" or their struggles. That is ridiculous to even include the party with "certain people."

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Teehan needs some stress relief right now, and the bench must gain more experience. So, yeah, it makes sense to juggle the CT/KY minutes somewhat, if not completely. Young's energy is boundless, tho sometimes he plays a bet too sped up, and still has lots of work to do on defense. He always seems to have a nose for the carom off the glass, so probably would have elevated our rebound totals at Ames...tho who knows what mistakes he might have made in a compensatory analysis. I'd say the common denominator for opposing defenses, at this juncture, will be to keep the ball out of Thomas' hands while packing the lane to limit TT's drives. The mid to long range jumper wil be available for TR, EJ, CT or KY if they can become proficient at making it pay. I envision a chunk of our offense coming from two steps inside the arc, with more freethrow opportunities for our longrange shooters. Once the pressure is lifted from Thomas, TT and Jeff, we might get back to usual steady offense. My humble armchair opinions.

Justin Carlson 4 years, 3 months ago

Bill Self vs. Danny Manny “Player Development”

My Jaybate moment!!

Just my opinions and something I have been pondering for a long-time dating back to bringing DM on the staff in 2004 and full on staff in 2006.

I know Self is the X’s and O’s, defense, offense, press “O” inbounds etc. and ultimately the beginning and end of KU basketball.

Does Bill turn the bigs/posts over to Danny and are they “his” projects?

Is Bill ultimately the man to mold the guards into the best they can be? It seems to make sense considering he was a guard at OSU.

I would like to raise a question who has done a better job of player development in the last 6 years Billy or Danny?

Obviously NBA/Pro draft status is the easiest way to grade a player out of the KU system. I would like to compare a few of the “key” top players in last 6 years and compare improvement, team impact and “NBA ready” vs. “HS Rank”

2006 – 2012 Bigs

Danny’s “Garden” 9 players

Kaun (#34 in HS) 56 in draft Huge improvements considering his lack of early touches of a basketball, Member of the 08 champs team we don’t win title without him easily could be on an NBA Roster but Russia is home..

Jackson (#54 in HS) 52 in draft Huge improvements Member of the 08 champs team we don’t win title without him just didn’t get it going in the NBA now overseas

Arthur (#16 in HS) 27 in draft One of the most athletic bigs we have had in the BS era huge numbers at KU and if he stays injury free will have a big NBA career.

Wright (#8 in HS) 13 in draft very athletic undersized big, maybe left one year to early and never has put it altogether in the league still looking for a shot

Aldrich (#30 in HS) 11 in draft huge improvements from freshman to senior year and who will ever forget the final 4 against UNC where he showed Hansbrough how to play the game. I feel he will make an impact on a team that has a more half court game. Thunder seems to moving a little too fast Cole.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

Just for a point of clarity, Aldrich left a year early. He never had a senior year.

Justin Carlson 4 years, 3 months ago

Morris x 2 Marcus (#29 in HS) 14 NBA and Markieff (#49 in HS) 13 NBA No one will ever forget the Morris’s improvement anytime soon. Skinny kids to men in 3 short years NBA potential will both be starters in 2 years maybe less and both will contribute to the team’s success. They could exceed Arthur’s impact time will tell.

Robinson (#31 in HS) Fresh in our minds and who can’t love this young man’s game. Overall POY possible, Big 12 POY yep, Top 5 draft yep. I am personally looking forward to his NBA career no one is more deserving than T_ROB!

Withey (#36 in HS) Wow improvement player of the year easy yes. Possible the most improved player in a KU uniform. Very high ceiling under Manning. Possible a 1st rounder next year, if he keeps this up!

2006 – 2012 Guards

Bill’s “Garden” 10 players (One more for comparison in a 3 guard starting rotation)

Rush (#13 in HS) 13 in draft unlimited athletic ability sometimes was to unselfish Self felt like he should shoot more but part of the reason 08 “no go to guy” formula worked. Up and down NBA should be a consistent starter, time will tell if he consistently fills the stat sheet moving forward.

Chalmers (#12 in HS) 34 in draft amazing improvement from freshman to junior season and no one in Rock Chalk land will ever forget the “shot” NBA with the Heat and the big 3 overshadowing his abilities. But if he continues to improve will be starter throughout his career.

Robinson (#27 HS) undrafted huge improvements learned his role and become a good college player but never developed into a NBA player, but critical to the success of the 08 championship

Collins (21st in HS) undrafted I feel more athletic as a senior HS – Sophomore in college. I recall at the end of the McD’s game threw the ball off the backboard for a monster jam! Didn’t see too much “ups” at KU. I always felt he was never in shape his last couple of years. I am not saying he wasn’t the most important member of the team but you look at him being undersized (height) and conditioning might have limited his success at the NBA level.

Morningstar (no rank) Undrafted RussRob mold great passer and sometimes found his stroke from “3” will probably never reach NBA status.

X Henry (#8 in HS) 12 in the draft big guard that could have used more college time to develop his game. Never got close to his potential at KU I feel a disappointment. NBA as of late is not seeing much court time and will probably never break into the starting lineup

Justin Carlson 4 years, 3 months ago

Reed (#109 in HS) undrafted strongest work ethic of all 20 players except maybe T-ROB perfect mold of a college role player good defender, good shooter, good passer, limited in all around NBA game not a Hinrich. But with his work ethic he may one day crack a roster spot in the NBA.

Selby (#1 in HS yeah right!) 49 in draft most highly touted recruit in the Self era. NCAA suspension, injuries, not buying into the system. Biggest disappointment ever in a KU uniform. Would like to have seen him as a soph or junior. NBA Limited time may one day develop needed more time at the college level.

Taylor (#77 in HS) Well who knows? If this streak of 19pts/game 2 or fewer turnovers/game continues he may be 35 – 50 draft guy maybe higher. Everyone knows his story as it is fresh in our minds. Who knows what the future holds. In my opinion he may very be another quick version of Chalmers with a weaker outside stroke and prone to the turnover!

Johnson (#24 in HS) highly touted out of HS fell in love with the “3” and is not using is athletic ability God gave him. I hate to make the comparison but remember a high flyer by the name of Giddens that fell in love with the “3” and never reached his full potential. Obviously Giddens had other issues but I see EJ in the same mold as JR G.

Danny vs. Billy in Summary! Just my opinion no stab at Self or the program I just think based on total number of guards vs. bigs we have dropped off on the guards progressing as true impact and development. I only bring this up based on my numbers of average draft order vs. HS rank!

Bigs >> NBA 56,27,13,11,13,14 (guess t-rob 5) withey 40 = 1st round 20th pick HS 34,54,16,8,30,29,49,31,36 = 32 overall HS rank 12 moves up in improvement!

Guards >> NBA (Undrafted will receive 60) 13,34,60,60,60,12,60,49, 30 Taylor, 60 EJ undrafted = 2nd round 44th pick HS (no rank 150) 13,12,27,21,150,8,109,1,77,24 = 44 stayed the same?

Your thoughts ??

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

I agree we definitely have had more success developing bigs than we do guards. I said not long ago, when someone brought up the possibility of Joe Dooley getting a head coaching gig soon, that (in addition to other qualities) I thought a replacement/next assistant coach should be more of a guard-specialist to compliment Danny's work with the bigs.

That being said, they are all (bigs & guards) being coached by Self. The bigs get work in with Danny, but remember this is Self's scheme. His coaching philosophy focuses on bigs, on playing inside-out, the high-low game. It is natural in this system that bigs will flourish. This is in opposition to Coach Cal's dribble-drive system. Certainly guards have the opportunity to shine here, as some of the examples you mentioned certainly prove, but maybe not in abundance the way the bigs do.

Another thing to consider is that bigs generally HAVE to stay 3 years or more to excel at the college level, especially in coach Self's system. With only 2 post positions, players such as TRob, Darnell, Sasha, etc often have to wait their turn for multiple seasons, and in doing so the years spent on the bench behind their predecessors (and banging against them everyday in practice) are beneficial to their NBA development. Bigs generally have to spend a little more time in college before they are ready for the NBA because their bodies need to mature and adjust to the pounding taken at this level before moving onto the next. This is pretty universal all over, as the amount of one-and-dones is largely slanted towards the guards. There is the occasional Greg Oden who makes the leap after only a year of college, but it is far more likely for perimeter players to leave earlier. I bring this up in regards to Selby & X. If they had stayed 3 years the results might have been very different. Rush, for example, greatly benefited from that 3rd year here at KU.

Lastly, I would maybe say that NBA draft position and success is not the greatest of judge on a player's college performance. I understand it may be the easiest to quantify, but college success doesn't directly translate to NBA success, and vice-versa. Think about Tyler Hansborough. Great NCAA career, not a great NBA player. Adam Morrison. Evan Turner. Luke Harangody. Acie Law. JJ Redick. Wayne Simien. The list goes on. Part of the reason ties into what I mentioned about kids staying longer. If they are deemed "ready" by the league, the generally don't stick around long enough to make a great impact on the college level. It is why the most dangerous teams, both Self's and others, are those loaded with talented upperclassmen.

Anyway, it was an interesting angle. And I could definitely stand to see a few more perimeter players come through Lawrence to balance our attack. But there are a variety of factors to consider in this assessment.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago


Way to bring it.

Self coaches a lot of years at ORU and Tulsa and learned just how many sins good big men could cover over.

He has worked darned hard to land the bigs. And he plays through them most of the time. Its how he has made his 84% at KU.

There's a reason he gives Danny so much leeway. He wants the best bigs possible. Developing bigs is the path to high percentages and titles.

Self sees that there is a bigger incremental gain in developing bigs than perimeter guys. The great perimeter guys come ready out of the box. They just have to learn the system. There are lots more guards than bigs.

Its an old axiom that to have a good big you need height, footwork and teach them to jump effectively. Today add strength to the formula.

You can develop a big.

Developing smalls is less necessary. So many come with most of the tools.

So many of the bigs don't.

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

As Jeff gets more experience and confidence, and if he develops as a more dependable ball handler, I look to see us run our offense more through him, to keep so much focus off Thomas. We have yet scratched only the surface in experimenting with the type of damage Jeff and Thomas can do with our inside game. If we ever get that synchronized, defenders will have to abandon attention on the offense of Travis and our guards. Jeff might be the key to unleashing our offense.

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

JCAR2510, as big man specialist, Manning stands tall as one of the best coaches in the nation. He does possess the luxury of being hired to specialize. Self, on the other hand, has the responsibility of overseeing the entire show. Even though he was a guard, and his focus is upon guard recruiting and development, he hasn't the time to focus on Jayhawk guards in the way that Manning has to work with the bigs. Your presentation and research are marvelously presented. Obviously much thought and effort went into that. Nice post.

REHawk 4 years, 3 months ago

jaybate, do we hear you pecking away, preparing an extensive set of posts on the variety of directions encompassed in this Bedore article today?

Tony Bandle 4 years, 3 months ago

Questions for the ages:

1] Can Bill Self coach? Well, let's look at Texas which lost less and gained a top 10 recruiting class and still can't win a big game, while Kansas lost 3 NBA players, 3 seniors and three 2012 recruits and are in the top Ten and in first tell me.

2] If you were a betting man, what would you think about the game Wednesday? Not that I would lay a wager..that's illegal...but take the over. Oklahoma pays the price and will get beat by 20.

3] Can Missouri be beaten at home? If the refs call it the refs let them play.....yes. If Missouri gets hot from the if Kansas pounds it inside and gets Radcliffe in trouble...yes.

4] What out of the box proposal would Oakville propose to shake up the team? Start Tharpe, Teahan, Young, Wesley and Lindsay. Sit Taylor, TRob, Withey, Releford and Johnson...simultaneously getting every player's attention!!

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

1) Obviously Self is a great coach. Despite my occasional nit-picking, no other coach I'd rather have.

2) I try and avoid gambling, for fear it would consume my addictive personality.

3) The one thing I don't like is Misery gets 5 days to prepare for us, we get 2 days to prepare for them. This concern is compounded by Misery's unique 4 guard line-up.

4) I don't know about starting them, but I was a fan of Ol' Roy's strategy of having 5 guys waiting at the scorers table whenever he felt his team fell flat, and subsequently ripping them a new one on the bench!

P.S. Did you happen to see my response to your post regarding kushaw? If not, here is what I wrote on the article yesterday:

"Fear not, he's around. He has a new user name "BigManU", but in parenthesis instead of saying "anonymous" it says "Chris Shaw". He was posting yesterday, and you've probably read him and just not noticed it was him."

lincase 4 years, 3 months ago

Good heavens! Which five of our bench players would you have waiting on the sidelines to replace the starters? Coach Self will not put those five (take your pick) in as a unit unless we are up by 25 and there are two minutes to go. I sometimes think we don't get as much hustle out of the starters because they know there is nobody on the bench that can replace them.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

Roy didn't always have the players to do it either, but he did it. He used walk-ons, but he did it. Not like he left them out there long, but a minute or two to chew the starters' butts. And it usually worked, and occasionally the bench scrubs would do well and you'd see the starters on the bench cheering them on.

justinryman 4 years, 3 months ago

1) Yes, it's why Kansas has won as many games as they have, not only this season, but others as well. You can have all the talent in the world and not win, if you ca't get them to play together. The '08 team was proof of that, they lost games playing "me" ball, they won the National Title playing team ball, that takes coaching when you have that many egos.

2) I like KU by 12, either it will be close til late, or coach Self will pull his starters to rest them late. But KU showed their road wows at OU a few weeks ago, hopefully playing at home they take revenge.

3) If MU has the Big East refs that work for Syracuse we don't stand a chance. Seems this year that the Big 12 is handing out the home court fouls, so Thomas and Jeff could sit a lot again. Let's hope not and that KU plays extremely inspired ball and takes care of the Tigers and their antlers as a good bye present to the SEC.

4)Keep Robinson and Taylor on the floor to start along with Wesley and Young. Leave Releford in there to start cause he will be needed for his D. If MU want's to run 4 guards lets go big and out size them. Robins 6'10", Wesley 6'9", Young 6'8", Releford 6'6" and Taylor at 6'3". Bringing Withey and Johnson off the bench at 7 foot and 6'4" respectively.

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

1) yes.

2) Never give points on a team on the road. At home its okay. Tend to bet on the proven team with a proven coach the game after an upset.

3) yes and we will cream them.

4) start TT at PG, then start KY and Justin on the wings, and Withey and TRob at the 4 and 5. Play 3-2 zone with KY and Justin on the high wings. On offense its a three man game with KY and Justin running around setting moving screens. Moving screens are the new breakthrough in cheating this season. KU is not doing nearly enough of it yet. Play this line up the first five minutes of each half, thus shortening games to 30 minute contests for our real starts: TT, EJ, Trav, TRob, and Jeff. Waltz to a conference title. Waltz to a ring.

justinryman 4 years, 3 months ago

But JB, Jeff tried to set a few of those "moving screens" against ISU and got called for them both, and lets just say it was like his block against Baylor, not sure how they were fouls, but.....

JayDocMD 4 years, 3 months ago

So who is our starting point guard next year?

I had always assumed Tharpe would grow into that role, but that seems to be in jeopardy.

Not really excited about EJ being the main guy at PG (unless he starts driving instead of settling for 3's.)

This is the no doubt the biggest question looking ahead.

justinryman 4 years, 3 months ago

I was wondering who was coming in at the 15 min mark to replace Wesley after he picks up his 2nd.

JayDocMD 4 years, 3 months ago

Certainly a concern this year...

Withey, Ellis, Traylor, KY, Zach Peters, and Landen Lucas will give us much more depth in the frontcourt next year. Andrew White also has good size and could play the 4 if needed.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

JayDocMD - I have always assumed it would be EJ. We have seen him drive in spurts, and I think that will increase as he moves to the point next year as opposed to playing mostly at the 2 this season. He was a PG in high school, and I think the move to his natural position will help him, as it helped Tyshawn once he moved there after playing the 2 alongside Sherron.

justinryman - Your wondering seems to assume that Wesley will be starting next year. I don't see that happening. The writing is on the wall with the comments Self just unleashed publicly, this group is going to struggle finding any more minutes next year with the influx of young talent. My guess is that Perry Ellis will start alongside Withey. Even if it's not Perry, I believe one of the group of Traylor, Lucas, & Peters would be a better option. Now Wesley has some things working for him - he is athletic and will have been with the program awhile. But he is still raw, and he was with the team last season able to practice. And he came with a year of D-1 experience. One has to wonder if he does not have the basketball chops to be a significant contributor with a team like KU.

Tony Bandle 4 years, 3 months ago

Hey, what the heck...Shabazz!!!! Well, it sounds great, anyway. You know what? Maybe HCBS just tell SM, " EJ will stay at the 2....this team is yours, if you want it!!!!

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

Well...while I would welcome Shabazz here in any capacity, he's not really a point guard. Nor do I think the best way to lure him here would be to tell him he'll play out of position. If he's a OAD as many speculate, he'll want to play the position he'll be asked to play in the NBA. And really, that would work for us with EJ at the point, and he could play the 2/3, as I'm guessing he projects out to be an NBA shooting guard.

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

HEM! HEM! HEM! This should be music to your ears! Do you hear it? This quote probably made your day!

"As far as future minutes for Tharpe and the current bench players, Self noted: “It remains to be seen because right now if you look at our team, if you are on the bench, you have a great opportunity to get minutes because we want to be able to play our bench more. If you are not able to do it this year, you will have to really step up to the plate because we will not be in a situation like this where we do not have depth again, at least I hope not. All the guys who are probably not playing as much as they’d like, it’ll be harder for them to play next year because we are going to recruit some cats that will be competitive, and whoever plays the best in practice, plays. That’s how it’s going to be. I don’t really know how our bench fits in next year because I want to wait and see how they compete against guys we’ve recruited.”

Now, when we were talking about this on Sunday, I was not trying to attack you about the overall problem being that Self failed to recruit and the bench is where it is because of the failures in the offseason.

I know that is the big issue, but I was trying to be diplomatic at the fact we can't look at those failures because it has nothing to do with the current roster and the thin bench right now. I'm pretty much over the recruiting failures of last summer and I'm trying to figure out how this team can get to an Elite 8 and possible Final 4 because I truly believe it's doable if certain things are focused on and repeated stats from the past don't show up again.

That quote must be music to your ears though, right?!!!!

Chris Shaw 4 years, 3 months ago

This is one day where I wish I could have been first with the comments!

justinryman 4 years, 3 months ago

The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago

The starters, the bench, development, and the expectations for this season.

For the second day in a row the role of the bench players is a hot-button topic here on the message boards. As someone else said, props to the caller & LJW for bringing this up and to Self for addressing it. My general opinion is that yes, you give your bench players minutes because while they are not going to be as good as the starters generally (certainly there are the exceptions. Sherron in '08 for example), they need to be developed so they can get better. I believe, as KULA and many do, that you get better through game action. Certainly there is some credibility to the argument that throwing them to the wolves when they aren't ready and letting them make mistake after mistake can damage a young player's confidence. However, I think that risk is minor compared to the risk of letting them rot away on the bench. What is that doing for their confidence? Or the quick hook after one mistake? Surely that erodes away at a player's psyche as well.

My wish for the development of players sitting on the bench has as much to do with preparing the players for expanded roles in future years as it does for the current season. As many have pointed out, EJ, Travis, & Withey were not given the opportunities to develop in games as much as we might have liked, and it has been argued that it has shown in their play & progression this season. Of course in years past there has been an abundance of talent, both in the starting line-up and on the bench, and the debates were due in large part to a disagreement of whether certain players were better than others playing in front of them (Brady & Tyrel being the prime examples).

This is not the case this year. We have five starters head-and-shoulders above the rest. No one is advocating the subs be given minutes at the expense of the starters because we think the bench players are better. The only argument to be made is that the bench players be inserted when needed - foul trouble, injury, fatigue. You can't make it through the grind of a schedule the likes of which we face playing iron-man/"Hoosiers" type basketball. So the question is: why not play the bench more and develop those players? I have a theory, in two parts. The first part I have been saying for awhile and judging from the quotes from Self confirmed my suspicions - nobody on the current, active bench is going to be expected to fill much larger roles next season. Self is getting by this season with what he has, but he knows help is on the way.

Kye Clark 4 years, 3 months ago


I think Tharpe is the only one who has a chance at significant minutes next season and beyond, possibly stepping into the back-up point guard role next year and getting 10-15 min/game. Wesley and Merv are not a part of his long-term plans. Connor is a Senior. KY is probably just a stop-gap and will have only one more year of eligibility after this year. And Tharpe, while salvageable, is not going to be heavily relied upon until his junior year. Self feels no need to play them significant minutes or expend effort developing them because they are not big pieces to the future puzzle.

Now that still doesn't explain why he would not want them more ready for a March push this season. Why he wouldn't, as KULA has said, play the season as "a campaign to the tournament" and maybe even sacrificed a few wins along the way in order to prepare the bench for the madness. My theory on this is that Self took a good long look at the season after BMac, Jamari, & Braeden were declared partial-qualifiers, and determined this team did not have the pieces to make a Final Four push. He decided this year was a bridge year to get him to the pieces he had coming in for future seasons, and instead of preparing a team for the NCAA tournament, he has gone "all in" on another conference championship. Many may not like to hear this, but how many of us were thinking a Final Four trip was likely at the outset? No one. Everybody was just going to be content to "enjoy the ride." Maybe Self saw this as well, and decided this season was going to be about playing his starters as much as possible and hope to keep the string of Big XII titles alive. Maybe he thought he'd give Travis, EJ, & Jeff as many minutes to develop them so they could lead next year's group that won't be short on talent, but will be short on leadership. And maybe he thought to play TRob & Tyshawn as much as possible in order for them to accumulate stats & accolades and increase their draft stock, a side benefit being the higher they're drafted the better it is for recruiting. And if somehow he squeezes another conference championship out of this bunch, after losing what he lost both in terms of last year's players and this season's expected recruits, he will have himself up for coach of the year honors. While I'm fairly certain he doesn't care too much about that, it would be another feather in his cap for recruiting.

It's also possible that Self, like many of us fans, changed their expectations for this season mid-way through the journey, but by then it was too late to alter course. The time for developing the bench has more or less passed. Does it mean that as a fan I believe a Final Four this year is impossible? Or do I think Coach Self believes it? No, but it's like he's said, the margin for error is extremely small.

Ben Simonett 4 years, 3 months ago

"right now if you look at our team, if you are on the bench, you have a great opportunity to get minutes because we want to be able to play our bench more. If you are not able to do it this year, you will have to really step up to the plate because we will not be in a situation like this where we do not have depth again, at least I hope not. All the guys who are probably not playing as much as they’d like, it’ll be harder for them to play next year because we are going to recruit some cats that will be competitive, and whoever plays the best in practice, plays. That’s how it’s going to be. I don’t really know how our bench fits in next year because I want to wait and see how they compete against guys we’ve recruited.”

I love this quote! this is direct affirmation by the head coach that guys like me, ICT, and HEM have been correct all along in our opinion that the players brought into the program lately have been desperation roster spot fills and not "diamonds in the rough" so many of the kool aid drinkers have convinced themselves they are.

Bill self himself just essentially said they are going to get replaced with better recruited players.

Rationality trumps fan bias yet again!

PurePierce 4 years, 3 months ago

In Praise of Self:

When we were on the hunt for a new head coach I immediately started praying for Mark Few. I figured if he could win consistently in a school way up in the corner, and one that none seemed to be able to pronounce, just think what he could do at a great basketball university.

All I knew about Bill Self (and I really didn't even know his name) was that I hated playing Illinois and their lineup of future NFL nose tackles.

Maybe Few would have taken us good places, but I am just very very glad that someone who knew much more than I was in charge of the search.

eric1889 4 years, 3 months ago

Check out this response to the we are mizzou rap. Once again we prove our superiority to our neighbors to the east.

eric1889 4 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, posted the wrong link. This is the true definition of satire.

Benjamin Piehler 4 years, 3 months ago

Funny. Everyone, make sure to watch the original Mizzou video to fully appreciate the KU vid. (I can only make it about 60 seconds before my gag reflex overcomes me)

KansasComet 4 years, 3 months ago

Maybe Iowa State wanted it more? No need for excuses or blame. We who's up next?

jaybate 4 years, 3 months ago

•Everyone is going lonnnnnng today. It does my heart good. Some times I am so proud of this board! I always believed basketball deserved intelligent, in depth analysis, that had both bite and respect, both swagger and substance, both knowledge of tradition and the smarts to go outside the box, competitiveness and cooperation.

•Harrison Barnes is only shooting .38 from trey. He's called a star. Remember Conner and EJ and Trav, you can each exceed that. TT already is. Shoot the rock. UNC= beatable.

•UK is still looooong! Cal has built a team ideal for defending the hi-lo. The more you spread it out, the more you play to their MUA of length. . So: on offense, pack it in, and run once screens, lotsa shoving. Constant contact. UTenn is stretching out and getting killed. On defense, lay way off. UK loves to spread it out. Don't go get them until the put it on the deck; then funnel them to Jeff. Alter. Put 'em on the stripe. Guard the basket, not the movement of the ball. On offend, all cuts are to the basket not at angles to it. KU can beat UK if it takes the short spacing game that Cal's offence and long players give.

BCRavenJHawkfan 4 years, 3 months ago

Energy comes from players that are having FUN!

Players have fun when they want to bang inside, and jump above the rim, and scortch the nylon.

Players have fun when they run and run and run until their defenders tongue's are hanging out.

Players have fun when they've got their teammates back.

Players have fun when they do things that DON'T always come easy.

Players that have fun have a twinkle in their eye even when things are down.

In the last three games I have not seen twinkle in any eyes. No smiles like Russ Rob would have every time he went to the free throw line. I guess it's no fun.

hawkcat 4 years, 3 months ago

Iowa ST. put a real @ss beating on KU and coach Fred out coached Bill right out of the building. Total embarrassment of Self as a coach. Self recruited Tharpe, guess that doesn't surprise us much as he got Morningstar and Reed who were a joke as Tharpe is. Self doesn't know the much when recruiting, must be a brain short.

Benjamin Piehler 4 years, 3 months ago

longtimehawk... u gotta stop making accounts man lol

Jeeveshawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Nobody badmouths Self. Morningstar and Reed where not jokes, and Tharpe is a good recruit to land. He can't handle the college level pressure yet, but he will adapt in time.

By the way: X. Henry, Selby, BRush, TRob, Chalmers, Taylor, and Johnson are all good recruits to land.

Bill wasn't coached out of the building his players were played out of the building.

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