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Monday, December 2, 2013

Bill Self ‘frustrated’ in Battle’s aftermath

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— Kansas University’s basketball players, coaches and family members, who endured a couple days of cloudy, rainy weather during their 41⁄2-day trip to the Bahamas, took advantage of a glorious, 80-degree, sunny Sunday morning before leaving the Atlantis resort at 1 p.m. for a return trip home.

“It’s beautiful. It’s been beautiful here the last two days,” KU coach Bill Self said in a Sunday chat with the Journal-World.

He elected to look at the bright side about 15 hours after an unimpressive 67-63 victory over UTEP (4-4) in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.

“I don’t think we made the most of the trip basketball-wise,” Self said of his Jayhawks (6-1), who fell to Villanova in the semifinals, 63-59, after downing Wake Forest in the opener, 87-78. “I’m not depressed. I would say frustrated, but not just me. I think the players are frustrated, too, knowing we didn’t play like we are capable of playing while we were down here.

“I do think there’s some great teaching moments. I’m certainly looking forward to getting back to Kansas and getting in practice time.”

He set his players loose during the morning hours to soar down the giant water slide, take a ride on water scooters or do whatever else they wanted to do.

Did Self try the slide?

“I did not,” Self said.

Instead he spent some time hanging out with family members in paradise after Saturday night’s game and on Sunday morning.

“It was a good tournament, yes,” Self said of the Battle 4 Atlantis, which is on the schedule again Thanksgiving week, 2017. The Jayhawks will head to the Old Spice tourney in Orlando, Fla., Thanksgiving week, 2014, and Maui in 2015, with no tourney yet on tap for 2016.

“Logistically, it is a little bit harder. Yesterday’s performance (vs. UTEP, in which KU saw a late 14-point lead dip to three) doesn’t really surprise me, because, hey, when you are down in the dumps (after loss to Nova) and eat your postgame meal at 2 a.m. and turn around and play the next day, and the schedule is set for you, it doesn’t make for an easy day. But I think that’s all good learning preparation.

“Tonight we’ll get a good night’s rest and be ready to get back to work tomorrow.”

Practices and film sessions should be spirited leading up to the next game — Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. contest at Colorado.

“We only played one good half of ball here — the first one,” Self said of the first half of the Wake Forest game, in which KU led, 40-26, at the break.

By far the most impressive stat regarding KU had to be the attendance figures. All three games were sold out, with KU fans occupying most all the seats in 3,900-seat Imperial Arena.

Here’s a look at some of the ugliest statistics from three days of hoops.

KU, which still averages 80.1 points a game on the season, averaged just 71 ppg off 41.9 percent shooting. The Jayhawks hit 10 of 45 threes for 22.2 percent.

Junior starting point guard Naadir Tharpe had a team-best four threes in 10 tries. Starters Wayne Selden and Andrew Wiggins had two threes in three games, while Frank Mason was leading three producer off the bench, with two makes. The opposition, incidentally, hit 22 threes in 57 tries, or 12 more than the Jayhawks.

“How many open looks did we miss?” Self lamented.

The Jayhawks missed 30 free throws in 89 tries, good for a 66.3 percent mark to the opponents’ 67.1. Sophomore forward Perry Ellis, who was KU’s leading scorer at 13.0 ppg, was also leading free-thrower with 15 makes in 19 tries for 78.9 percent.

KU had just one other double-digit scorer.

Freshman guard Wiggins averaged 11.0 ppg off 36.7 percent shooting (11 of 30). Wiggins made two of eight threes and was 9-of-18 from the line for 50 percent. Freshman starting off guard Selden averaged 8.0 ppg off 47.6 percent shooting. He had eight turnovers against three assists.

Tharpe averaged 7.0 ppg off 30 percent shooting (six of 20), with 10 assists versus six turnovers. Senior center Tarik Black averaged 4.3 points off 55.6 percent shooting (five of nine) and grabbed 3.0 boards a game. He banged his knee and played just two minutes the second half versus UTEP.

“He’s just sore. Structurally, it (knee) is fine,” Self said Sunday.

KU’s bench was led by the inside/outside duo of Frank Mason and Joel Embiid. Mason, who nearly was the hero of the Villanova game — he hit a spinning layup and foul shot that gave KU a late one-point advantage — averaged 9.7 ppg off 38.5 percent shooting. He had six assists, five turnovers and four steals.

Seven-footer Embiid, who had a KU-freshman-record seven blocks in the second half against UTEP, averaged 9.7 ppg off 63.2 percent shooting (12 of 19) and 5-of-7 free throwing. He averaged 5.7 boards and had 10 blocks in playing 15 minutes against Wake, 12 minutes versus Villanova and 21 against UTEP. Embiid had 13 fouls in the three games. Self said he needed to find Embiid more minutes without fouling.

Sophomore forward Jamari Traylor, who played 24 minutes vs. Wake, saw his role diminish to eight minutes apiece in the next two games. He hit six free throws in six tries and was 3-of-6 from the field, good for 4.0 ppg.

The three Jayhawk reserves known for outside shooting provided little in Bahamas.

Sophomore wing Andrew White III was 0-for-5 from three and scored six points total, all in the Wake game. He was 2-for-8 overall and saw his minutes dip from 17 to nine to four. Freshman guard Conner Frankamp, who played nine, two and five minutes, was 0-for-2 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line.

Freshman wing Brannen Greene played three minutes in the ’Nova game, hitting a two-pointer and missing a three. Freshman center Landen Lucas had one point and two rebounds while combining for 11 minutes in the final two games.

KU was effective on the defensive end, allowing 68 ppg off 40.7 percent shooting. The 22 threes allowed, however, had to be a concern. KU outrebounded its foes by one, 114 to 113. The Jayhawks had more turnovers (40) than assists (35), while forcing foes into 41 turnovers against 32 assists. KU had 20 steals to the opponents’ 22 and 18 blocks to foes’ 12.

“We’ll practice Monday through Friday and get ready for Colorado Saturday and turn around at play at Florida on Tuesday,” Self said, realizing tough road trips await before KU returns to its Sprint Center home-away-from-home for a Dec. 14 game against New Mexico.

Comments

Doug Cramer 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Good quality games coming up against Colorado, Florida, and New Mexico.

We'll all be feeling better about this team after this stretch.

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Rich Hetherington 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Will we? I really love this team and know it is full of great athletes, but I'm also feeling a little worried right now. It's one thing to lose 1 of 3 games (losing to Villanova), but it's a lot more worrying to see them struggle the way they did against Wake Forest and UTEP! One satisfying take from the game is that UTEP had been a fluky 3-0 against Kansas all-time, including an NCAA banishment that many still remember, so to finally beat them, even in a tight one had some significance there. Outside of that, I'll be really curious to see how the team responds in these next 2 road games against ranked Colorado and Florida teams!

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Tony Bandle 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Are you stupidmichael?? If so, then your post makes me I think we're in pretty good shape for the future. :)

PS totally agree about breaking the UTEP curse although I think that maybe they were Texas Western when we lost those three games.

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Aaron Paisley 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The beat Roy in the second round in 1992 I believe.

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Joe Joseph 7 months, 4 weeks ago

He's not stupidmichael, but stupidmichael endorses this message. I have a feeling this team will continue to play to its level of competition the entire season. That seems to be a trend with inexperienced, yet talented teams.

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Bryce Landon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

As far as I know, they were Texas Western only when that corrupt ref gave them the 1966 win. They were definitely UTEP by the time they ruined our 1992 season.

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Kc Ticketguy 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Did anyone else realize that only one team in only one game shot better than 67% from the line? I think the low ceiling threw everyone off.

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Jack Wilson 7 months, 4 weeks ago

"The three Jayhawk reserves known for outside shooting provided little in Bahamas."

It's a wonder why. The "reserves" get very little consistent opportunity. They pinball in and out and are expected to perform.

There is not room for all of the reserves to play and for this team to reach it's maximum potential.

The UTEP game, CF played 5 minutes, White 4, and Greene 0.

It's nice to think that reserves just "have to be ready" when called upon. But for anyone that's played the game, sitting 90+% of the time, then being thrust into high intensity action is not a recipe for success. And then, every second they're in, they are subject to getting yanked for a mistake. That would make any player hesitant.

And one wonders why the "reserves" aren't helping a lot from a shooting perspective. Again, when you're not playing a lot, it's hard to come in, drill threes, when you have always be on alert to getting yanked because you've shot the wrong shot at the wrong time.

See Brannen Greene vs. Nova. Shot a three with 18 seconds on the clock, got barked at. Then turned down a completely wide open three at 18 seconds again.

When he got barked at by Self the first time, I understand why .. we'd done a side-out at 23 seconds and didn't get in any offensive flow.

My sole point there is that shooters can't be expected to perform on call. Couple that with with worrying about when they shoot, and getting yanked -- this causes hesitancy. Not great for shooter.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Eh, yes they can be expected to perform on call. If your entire role on the team is to be ready to come off the bench and hit shots then you HAVE to be expected to be able to do that.

Reserves do not have the luxury of getting to shoot the rust off. There is a reason that they aren't starters, because they are not good enough at all aspects of the game to be left on the floor for extended periods of time.

This is college basketball. It's hard. You either put in the work and do what is asked of you or you are no longer asked to contribute.

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Jack Wilson 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Benz: You can expect it, but you'll be disappointed.

Have you ever played the game?

I'm providing an explanation as to why excellent shooters may not perform when they get put in the game. You can expect all you want; but getting consistently good three point shooting from guys that a sporadically in the game is a pipe dream.

Interestingly, you only state that they are expected to perform, nor did you refute the logic behind the point.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh for crying out loud. You're going to play the "have you ever played the game" card? This isn't complicated. I watch reserves come off the bench for teams ALL THE TIME and hit an average number of shots.

You are providing an EXCUSE as to why excellent shooters MIGHT not have performed when given the chance. You are ignoring the impacts of what you are proposing.You're basically arguing that Self should give these guys more extended minutes to "find their stroke". You want KU to sacrifice multiple possessions to reserve players (who are bench players for a reason) so that we can hope that they find their stroke. How many misses do you wait before you decide that they aren't going to find their stroke (which happens) while suffering from their below average defense? How many? One, two, five?

NO excellent player is consistently good in every game, starter or bench player. Even Doug McDermott had a few o-fers from three last year.

It's EASY to point the finger at the coach. What's hard is to realize the full impact of having certain players out there but not producing versus not out there.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

"My sole point there is that shooters can't be expected to perform on call. Couple that with with worrying about when they shoot, and getting yanked -- this causes hesitancy. Not great for shooter. "

Everyone is expected to perform when called upon by the team. I can 100% guarantee that Bill Self has never yanked a shooter for taking and missing a good shot. He yanks guys for taking ill advised shots or for making careless turnovers or defensive lapses.

Getting consistenly good three point shooting from ANY guy is a pipe dream. All I am saying is that griping about who got what minutes is pointless. You have no way of knowing what would have happened if they got more minutes. To say that because you played some basketball when you were young means that you know better than a future hall of fame coach how to manage his rotations during a game is idiotic.

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Jack Wilson 7 months, 3 weeks ago

You make strawman arguments .. google it. I never said "every game, starter, or bench player."

It is not idiotic; and how much I have played or coached is not irrelevant. But this isn't arotation management.

It a discussion on why cold guys off the bench, that don't play regularly, can't perform the way they could if they were playing regularly. That's the reality that you do not grasp.

But keep making your strawman arguments.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

No, I understand it. I am not replacing your argument (more minutes for reserve shooters = increase in production) with something else. I am simply points out that you are incorrect in assuming that this increase will happen while you ignore what is much more likely to happen which is that the reserve players are worse at defense and will give up more points and are worse at the overall offense (handling the ball, making the right pass etc..).

Coaches play the odds and they have about two seconds to run the odds in their mind based on what they see out there. When a stoppage of play happens, they have to decide right there if what they are seeing from a player is a net positive or a net negative. If guys are taking bad shots or getting worked on defense, they are coming out if there is a better option sitting on the bench (a starter).

Let's take a look at a game where White got lots of minutes. He came into the La-Monroe game with 15:22 left in the first and in less than one minute hit his first three point shot (I thought cold players can't shoot well?!?) He followed it with a defensive rebound on the next possession and a steal on the next one and hit another three pointer two minutes later. His fast start right off the bench resulted in him getting more minutes. Unfortunately, he played another four minutes in the game without doing anything at all so he was subbed back out.

These guys have to produce right off the bat or they are not the best choice to be out there but Self doesn't automatically yank them if they miss one shot. White went out in the 2nd half of that game, pulled down a few rebounds and missed a three and Self left him out there. He hit a three and a layup before coming out again.

The point being that the team cannot afford to have bench players playing regularly in every game. They aren't better options than the starters. That is why they are on the bench. YES, if KU players were in a three point shooting contest, I would agree that guys will perform better if they have a chance to shoot more and find their range. But that is not the only thing they are doing out there. You cannot take such a zoomed in view of a small portion of the game. To ignore the net impact of having them out there when they aren't producing nullifies the entire argument.

The point is to try to win the game, not to get White's three point shooting stats as high as possible.

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Ethan Berger 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Role players are supposed to come in and preforme. But by the same token, usually role players get more time on the court in a sitting to preform. Instead of 1 or 2 minutes. They might get 5 constant to find that flow. This is why I'm a bit hesitant to critize Self. The average fan knows this, so Self must know this. So what is he asking from the huddle? What do these players do in practice? Does Self get mad at 18 because he thinks a better opportunity will present itself at 10? Is afraid the Role players can hit threes but then give up threes? I don't know his expectations thus I don't want to speculate on his reasonings. I'm fine with guys shooting wide open three but for one reason or another, Self doesn't always like it. It could be because when they shoot, players are out of position maybe creating a quick fast break. Or maybe two more passes leaves a player open for a easier shot. I won't review the game because well I have other things to do but knowing his reasoning would be nice.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

We should be more than "a bit hesitant" to criticize Self on when he gets bench players in the game and how long he allows them to play. It is absurd for a bunch of fans to think that because they watch a lot of basketball or played some in school that they have any clue of what needs to happen in the flow of a basketball game.

I know that KU fans are known for having an above average intelligence about the game but this is the line that no fan should cross. If you really understand the game then you can acknowledge that doing something different merely might or might not result in a different result. There are no certainties in basketball, especially when it is college basketball with a lot of young players.

ANYONE can sit down with the net results of a game and spot things that could have been done differently that might have changed the results of a game. But those changes are just guesses. There is no guarantee that they would have made the impact that we think they would make. There is no guarantee that they wouldn't have made things 10,000 times worse.

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Kye Clark 7 months, 4 weeks ago

HEM - I had posted this on another article (following the 'Nova loss) in which I was curious: in years past we have bemoaned talented players languishing away on the bench. Just last year both of us were wanting AW3 to be getting crunch time minutes so he would be ready to contribute come March. However, you seem to have shifted and are actually in favor of Self trimming down his depth to a mere 8 players?

I'm not disagreeing that the three shooters aren't going to get into a rhythm with the limited minutes they're seeing. I actually agree. Just curious if indeed you are in favor of going the remainder of the season with 2 of the 3 of Frankamp, AW3, & Greene seeing only mop-up/emergency minutes and the winner of that battle seeing the lion's share of the reserve minutes typically set aside for your 5th perimeter player (2nd perimeter sub, after Mason. Or Tharpe should Mason earn the starting PG spot at some point.)

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

If you want Greene/White/Frankamp to get more minutes, who do you want to get less? Wiggins? Or Selden? Any answer other than Tharpe would be silly.

Here's how it works, folks. Bench guys that average 10 minutes a game on the year don't get 10 minutes in every game. They get 12-18 minutes against bad teams and 2-6 minutes against good teams. Stop trying to use tiny sample sizes to project things out over season-wide averages.

Why is it that Andrew White can come in and shoot 2-3 from 3 in 8 minutes against Iona but only take (and miss) one three against Villanova? Why could he get 14 minutes against American U last year and go 0-3 from three yet play only 6 minutes against Texas Tech and go 2-3 from three? The answer is that some times players don't play well. Even elite players have bad games.

Is it a coincidence that virtually every team in the Atlantis tourney SUCKED from three? Probably not. It was a tough venue to find your stroke, so why play guys whose only skills are at a noticeable disadvantage?

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Mike Adams 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It's simple. Tharpe and Mason have zero business being on the floor at the same time, both are defensive liabilities and we are leaving too much athletic ability and shooting on the bench (neither of these guys are shooters). I would give Tharpe 20 and Mason 20, by the end of the year Tharpe should only be getting 10, period. Greene and White need consistent minutes, they are both athletic shooter that can rebound. White can also drive and is strong. Greene is a confident player that needs to work some of his freshman kinks out during games...he's a player. Conner can play next year. Take some minutes away from Wiggins until he learns to play 100% of the time he is on the court. He is almost distracting to watch sometimes, it's like he gets in the way, that young man has a long way to go even though has tremendous upside.

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Kye Clark 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey bub, maybe you don't know because you haven't been around here that long, but Jack Wilson is HEM. My reply was to his post; my question was to him.

Thanks, but no thanks, for you attempted explanation as to how it works.

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Mike Adams 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey bub, thanks for the efforts on policing posts, really not needed I'll post whatever I want wherever I want. For the love of god don't take yourself so seriously it's a message board for comments.

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Kye Clark 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Well I see you don't quite grasp the reply function. First of all, a reply is directed to someone specific. If I was asking a general question to the readership, it wouldn't have been a reply. It would have been a post, as indicated by the lack of an indention. Secondly, I wouldn't address a general post to someone specific, in this case, the post started out "HEM -". I reply to his posts because he is one of the few remnants of the legendary posters, and because I respect his opinions and takes, even when I don't agree with them. I don't really care to banter with every screwball on here.

And third, and this is really the main point...the "Hey bub..." reply, wasn't a reply to your post! See how it is indented? It is on the same indention line as you, therefore not a reply to you, but rather to the person above who has less of an indention, in this case Benz. You might have figured it out from the how he posted "here's how it works, folks", to which I worked into my own post. Then again, maybe you wouldn't have figured it out. I wouldn't want to give you more credit for intelligent thinking than you deserve.

In any case, continue posting your drivel wherever you want. By all means. Wouldn't want to miss out on any of those golden nuggets of basketball wisdom like "Take some minutes away from Wiggins". Brilliant. Second leading scorer, third leading rebounder, and easily our best perimeter defender who showed up our big men defending the post earlier this year.. Cut those minutes based on a handful of games where he had the flu.

Next.

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Mike Adams 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Classic! Good thing you stated "I don't really care to banter with every screwball on here"...exposed. NEXT

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Jack Wilson 7 months, 3 weeks ago

ict: I am in favor of an 8+ rotation this season, and I was last season. This season, we have many talented players .. more than usual. But to be playing at the highest possible level, we can't play everyone (as you know). Plus, Self is going to play his chosen best players. It just seems that we can play top 5 players 30 minutes; next 3 combined 45; and "+" guy 5 or so. That won't work out perfectly like that, but generally.

Last season, our rotation was EJ, McLemore, Releford, KY, and Withey starting; then Ellis, Traylor, and Tharpe. I felt that getting AW3 some solid rotation minutes was the best approach, based on the idea of him being comfortable and confident, but also based on the fact that he could make us better with his shooting. I felft Traylor should be the "+" minutes. White appx. 15 or so per game. Heck, White proved he could flex to a pick and pop 4, scoring 15 in that role vs. Belmont. And he's a better rebounder than Traylor.

This season, I think the 8+ rotation is a good thing, too. What I mean this season about cutting the roation is that Self is playing everyone, meaning during real game situations. All 12 guys sometimes. It's a mile wide and an inch deep. None of the low minutes guys are getting much out of it. My opinion is that he should simply sit Lucas, Frankamp and either White or Greene. Pick White or Greene, and play him.

Go with Tharpe, Selden, Wiggins, Ellis, Embiid starting; three subs Mason, Black or Traylor, and White or Greene; with Traylor or Black getting the "+" minutes.

But as we know, only one guy is the boss, and his rotation patterns have been quite similar each year.

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Asad Zoberi 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Trey shooting was supposed to be our strength with AW3, Greene, Frankamp as well publicized for their touch. Also we ahd heard that Selden has a nice gun and Wiggs can knock some down as well. With that in mind I was puzzled that Greene and AW3 were warming the bench when faced against a zone (triangle) defense. I had commented on the other thread that CF should have red shirted this year but that is an another discussion. AW3 and Greene not getting much time against the zone was puzzling to me. With our deep bench we should be running the likes of UTEPs and Novas out of the gym.

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Aaron Paisley 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The triangle and 2 is not a great defense to see if you only have 1 three point shooter on the floor. UTEP was protecting the paint with 3 guys and manning up on the 3 point shooters to make it difficult to get an open look.

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Well we can easily put several 3 point shooters on the floor..but useless if they keep missing open threes.

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

HEM.. I get what you are saying BUT Bill Self absolutely needs Connor, White and Greene to step up and hit their shots when called upon. So far (and yes, it is still extremely early into the season) only Embiid is having the success that Kansas fans hoped for from the Big Three Recruits and he needs his role players to play their role.

Right now, Self is tied to Andrew Wiggins having big numbers and on court success. If Wiggins goes the way of Selby, you can bet that coaches on the recruiting trail will be whispering that Kansas is the place where #1 recruits go and disappear.

You gave a solid account of how Greene performed against Nova but this kid should know when or when not to take a three-point shot. If not, then there is a communication problem somewhere. I'm guessing that we are all just fans and I could be wrong but either way, we knew that Greene wasn't in sync. He needs to be ready to go at any moment.

I think it's fair to expect better shot and shot clock selection from these three (White, Greene and Connor) in particular. They are all players who put up big numbers in high school and Andrew White is a sophomore. They all need to get into the flow of the game but they need to do it quickly. Bringing up Steve Woodberry might not be fair but he did perform as did Young last year.

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Tony Bandle 7 months, 4 weeks ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES.

1] Something tells me that Colorado is going to pay for Coach Bill's "frustration". [After the Hawks pay for it, of course.]

2] Lots of upsets and close calls this weekend against the Top 25. It appears the new fouling rules are evening out the odds somewhat for the underdog.

3] Nice seeing North Carolina lose again...let's keep building up our total victory cushion against them.

5] I was a center on a high school district championship team, so I know a little of what I'm talking about. Next time you watch the Hawks, just focus on Joel's feet for a moment. Watch how quick he moves and how little wasted motion there is. This young man has better footwork after only three years of ball then some NBA All-Star Centers. He is truly special and may indeed end up being the best NBA player of this entire NCAA class!!!

6] The problem with "The Ballroom" was the lighting. The on-court lighting was not great but it was just OK...the secondary ambient lighting around the perimeter was almost non-existent, thusly, there was little opportunity for depth perception for a shooting background.

7] Let's give CW one more season to start showing overall progress..from 1-11 to 3-9, maybe 6-6 would be over for next season. It is hard, however, being Jayhawk football fan living in Missouri right now.

8] YES, the three point shooting needs to improve, however, the foul shooting MUST improve. These rules aren't going away and that free throw line is going to determine a lot of games this year.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 4 weeks ago

I agree about the lighting in the facility. From the very first second I saw it I knew shooters were goinmg to have problems. The lighting on the floor was so bright and poorly placed that I could see huge shadows coming off of players. And the lighting immediately off the floor was almost nonexistent. What little they had was a weird blue tint. That never happens in a college arena. Virtual every game in the tourney featured terrible outside shooting.

I am not worried about the long term long range shooters. White, Greene and Frankamp are all good shooters and Wiggins and Selden can make them if needed. They'll get it sorted out in a regular setting. Mason and Tharpe should be fined for shooting from outside.

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Mike Riches 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Totally agree about the FT shooting...I keep having flashbacks to the '03 NC game, ugh....when Ellis and Embiid are two of our best FT shooters in this tournament, it might be worth spending a little extra time there.

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Len Shaffer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Actually Jamari Traylor was the best FT shooter, at 6-for-6.

I'm hoping that the FT woes were similar to the general shooting woes, in that the venue had a lot to do with it.

All excellent points, Oakville. It was great to see UNC not only lose again, but lose to a KU alum.

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Erich Hartmann 7 months, 3 weeks ago

The "ballroom lighting" argument doesnt work, as Villanova and other teams drained 3s on us with NO problems, in the same bldg.

Same reason Im so hard on KU wide-receivers, as the IowaState game completely hightlighted that it was NOT the 6-degree cold weather, as IowaState WRs were catching balls all game long, while ours were busy dropping passes that hit em in the hands.

Bill Self will NOT tolerate any excuses. Period.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Three teams at the tourney shot a better % of threes in the tourney than for the rest of the year:

Nova --> 37.36 there, 27.64% all other games Iowa --> 41.27% there, 37.89% all other games Wake --> 37.5% there, 33.33% all other games

Five of the teams shot worse, some tremendously worse:

Kansas --> 22.22% there, 37.5% all other games UTEP --> 28.88% there, 37.1% all other games Tennessee --> 19.57% there, 44.44% all other games (yikes) Xavier --> 30.9% there, 39.34% all other games USC --> 29.82% there, 31.71% all other games

That's a full ten percent drop for the teams that struggled to get used to the different shooting. KU wasn't the only team that had a huge drop in this tourney. It clearly bothered some shooters.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

And the ballroom isn't an EXCUSE; it's just the reason why I think that KU's "weakness" of outside shooting is not a permanent problem that will plague them moving forward. While they aren't a light's out team from deep, I don't see it as a tremendous problem. The intensity level is what needs to get addressed to get back to playing KU basketball at their ability level.

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Yolanda Gay 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Yes I'd like our 3 point shooting to improve; but I'd take any outside shooting. Until we can prove we can shoot from the outside, teams will be packing it in the paint.

I also don't think we are taking advantage of the new rule. Drive the ball. Teams can't put their hand on you. BUT KU needs to make its freethrows!

I was happy to see Greene get some minutes.

I'm a little worried about Wiggins. If he's able to take over a game, then why doesn't he. Why does Self have to tell him to do it. To me, if I had that ability and the coach told me to take over, then I'd be shooting lights out, within the offense. I just don't understand kid's mentality. McLemore was the same way. I know money talks and there is always a chance of injury; but I think Wiggins would be better off if he stayed another year.

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Aaron Paisley 7 months, 4 weeks ago

He was getting over the flu during the tournament so his energy level was way down because of that.

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

HCBS has a lot riding on the success of Wiggins. After the Selby disaster, having another #1 recruit and especially the ordained successor to Lebron fail to live up to expectations will certainly not help recruiting at Kansas

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Aaron Paisley 7 months, 4 weeks ago

This team is on par with the 2005-06 team in regards to experience and talent level and that team started the year 3-4 after a rough showing in Maui that season. Theses guys will be fine, they are just going through the typical growing pains of an inexperienced team.

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Brianna Zaleski 7 months, 4 weeks ago

KC ticketguy, Good stat about the ft %. The low ceiling and lighting most def played a part in EVERYONES poor shooting. Why are we going back in 2017? Can someone plz explain to me why we accept invitations to low rent tourneys such as these. Other than the obvious of bring in the Bahamas

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RJ King 7 months, 4 weeks ago

Low rent tourneys? I get that you want to sit out this dance, but if it's good enough for teams such as North Carolina, Georgetown, UCLA, Florida, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, UAB and Butler, then KU would be foolish to turn down an invite. Maui and MSG can't host every tournament. And, like you observe, there aren't any water slides or dolphins at the Sprint Center.

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Brianna Zaleski 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I totally understand what u are saying. But other than the draw of the "Bahamas", I don't get the allure if that tourney. I know there are rules about how many years u have to wait before going back to a (preferred) tourney such as Maui or MSG, but surely there are better options than playing in a freaking ballroom under black lights. Btw, what happened to the Vegas tourney?

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Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Brianna, this is a nice trip for the fans, you are tested both in who you play, how often, and the court. There is some nice exposure over thanksgiving weekend too. They shoehorn a court into a ballroom as an afterthought which is not a bad idea to play in since it is so hard to adjust to, like in a giant arena or stadium where the final four is played now. I am with you, not my favorite tournament, but some good tests for the team that should pay off in conference and NCAA's.

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Ryan Zimmerman 7 months, 4 weeks ago

The thing I'm most "frustrated" with is the emotion and excitement on the team. Everyone seems to be so stoic when they play-- not that they should celebrate every shot, but some of them look like they are just out there passing time. Passion doesn't win games, but it helps...

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Aaron Paisley 7 months, 4 weeks ago

It works the other way too and can be a huge detriment to a team when things aren't going well.

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Preston Dwiggins 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Did anyone else feel like they were watching a bowling tournament with the blue lights on the fans?

All jokes aside, it's time for Wiggins to step up an share his talents with all the doubters.

As of right now, there's only one Jayhawk in my opinion who is worthy of leaving early for the NBA and he stands 7'...and I think Embiid could use one more year to learn the game better.

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Doug Cramer 7 months, 3 weeks ago

100% agree Preston. No one needs to leave early.

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Bryce Landon 7 months, 3 weeks ago

As usual, though, some will. And when the Association grinds them up and spits them out, and they have no degree and no other means of earning a living, what are they going to do to contribute to society?

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Wiggins will be just fine Ben was on fire to start the season But became quite once conference started I'm hoping and expecting the opposite for Andrew Embiid needs to start And selden shouldn't sit for mason selden needs be on the floor more than Mason and he needs to be given more touches

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Aaron Paisley 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Punctuation is a useful tool and nothing to be afraid of. You will make mistakes and people will call you out on those mistakes. It does however make it significantly easier to understand what you are writing instead of first having to figure out where the periods go.

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I quit trying after the first time through that mumble jumble..

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It is amazing to see how many people have pinpointed the exact reason for KU's struggles. "It is the outside shooters", "It is the free throw shooting", "Coach doesn't give the bench guys enough minutes", "Coach doesn't let the shooters stay in long enough to find their range", "It is the lighting in the crappy facility", etc...

When Kansas plays more aggressive than their opponent, Kansas wins. It has always been that way. They have won games where they shot like crap from outside but were more aggressive. They have won games when they shot like crap from the line but were more aggressive. It's not just this team, it is every team in every game. They team that plays with more intensity wins a huge percentage of games where there is not a massive difference in skill level. Kansas will never play a team that has a marked advantage of skill, so if they are the more aggressive team they should win almost every game.

I cannot think of a single loss in the last five years where I thought Kansas was the more aggressive team and they still lost. PLAY AGGRESSIVE and win.

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Jeremy Wilhelm 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I don't know about the very last statement, but I agree with your general assessment. The one thing these three opponents all did was play a lot of zone and triangle and two/box and one type D's. I think an inexperienced team will naturally struggle to be aggressive against that type of D because one, it's rare, and two, attacking it is different from attacking a man-to-man D. That's just something they need to work on to really get comfortable facing. Odds are good they will face it a lot until they show they can beat it (and even after given that KU is likely to be deeper and more talented than most teams they'll face).

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RJ King 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Atl - Could not agree more. I was expecting to see dozens of comments like yours, even an entire article written about the variety of defenses (not to mention the 4-corners offense) thrown at the Hawks in this tournament.

I think some of the perceived "lack of intensity" was actually the team being kind of "frozen," for lack of a better word. It's like they were collectively thinking, "WTF, what do we do with this?" We can blame Self for not having them prepared, but there's only so much practice time - and he has likely needed every minute just to work on fundamentals and their own system. As they improve, they can spend practice time breaking down the more unusual defenses.

You are right - these atypical schemes will continue to be used against us. After this tournament, the players will surely buy in to the idea that it's something they need to learn.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Aggressiveness and intensity starts at the defensive end and KU did not have any outside of Embiid. And his was frequently misplaced, resulting in too many ill-timed fouls.

The rest of the team played defense in slow motion. Want to beat a weird defense? Play aggressive defense, force turnovers and get out in transition where they don't have a chance to set that weird defense up.

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm really sorry I stained the prestigious and astute grammar of this page. I believe that maybe if you took the time you did to remark on my lack of punctuation you could have decoded my unreadable, and punctuation-less comment. Aaron Paisley

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

You're so cool Aaron I wish I could be you

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Aaron can you proof read my research paper

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Hey Aaron it's me I'm just wanting to know if you could maybe school my buddies on some wicked grammar knowledge. They think they know it all but I told them I know somebody way smarter and way cooler

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Beau..you should have quit when you only looked stupid, now you have proven it to be a fact.

In the future, you can reply directly to the comment that brought out your hissy fit by clicking on the "Reply" in the lower right corner.

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Lance Cheney 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Did nobody else see that Villanova beat Iowa too, and won the damn tournament? I mean, this is a good team we got beat by. I was thinking to myself after we lost, that if Nova keeps playing like that they will be a top 15 team before long, and they appear to be on their way to top 25 (actually, after looking at the polls while I'm writing this, I was correct - #14 in AP, #17 in ESPN/USA Today). This was no slouch we lost to. Now, UTEP on the other hand, would've been an embarrassment, and really was, even though we won. I'm not excusing the way we played down there; it was downright ugly. Just giving some credit to Villanova. We, on the other hand, have got to figure some stuff out. Our rebounding is horrible, our free throw shooting's horrible (which is what's going to decide games in this new foul-saturated era), and our perimeter defense is bad. I'm not real worried at this point, but we are definitely not the invincible juggernaut that a lot of posters on here were talking about a few weeks ago. And like Coach Self said, we are going backwards as a team, which is not a good thing.

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Mike Riches 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Great point. It is interesting the paradigm shift that can occur when a ranking changes. As for the UTEP game, that's probably a team that we should have beat by 30+, but there were numerous reasons that game went the way it (Third game in three days, the second in less than 24 hours, our entire team had to be frustrated after the Nova loss and probably didn't have enough time to get over the frustration, one of our leading scorers had been sick all week, etc, etc, etc.) It just felt like by the end of that game, when UTEP was making their last minute comeback, our guys were so ready to just get out of there. And while more experienced teams may have handled the circumstances differently, that really is a lot to ask of such young players. As much as I wish they had a game today or tomorrow (just so I could watch another game) I'm really glad they have a week before going to Florida. I'm predicting a 15-2 KU run early in the first half...

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

My neglect of the reply button is part of the satirical nature of my comments but thanks for the help Walter.

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Walter while I am taking lessons on grammar from Aaron can you possibly teach me how to use the internet.

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm sure you know nothing of the plights of the Dustbowl Walter.

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Not true...Duke beat Oklahoma 21-17

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Skyler Bridges: Walt, please, let's both of us stop trying to correct all this grammar and admit you're in danger! Walter Bridges: Who are you talking to right now? Who is it you think you see? Do you know how smart I am? I mean, even if I told you, you wouldn't believe it. Do you know what would happen if I suddenly decided to stop correcting grammar? Punctuation as we know it would Disappear! It ceases to exist without me. No, you clearly don't know who you're talking to, so let me clue you in. I am not in danger, Skyler. I am punctuation. A guy posts on this site and no one yells at him and you think that of me? No. I am the one who posts!

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

If you don't know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly. ...

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Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Used to be so different on here.

Although all fans of our team it appears now we are more interested in tearing each other down or calling each other names.

My only wonder is why I am always surprised when it happens.

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Benz Junque 7 months, 3 weeks ago

It's because people lose their MIND when Kansas loses. It's embarrassing how people lose all perspective. People were so jacked up that we got Wiggins and Selden and Embiid and they were frothing at the mouth to be THAT TEAM that everyone was marveling at and now those people are PISSED and are looking to vent their frustrations. How dare Coach Self make them look bad after they had been shooting off their mouths to anyone who would listen about how awesome Kansas was going to be. They feel hurt and betrayed and wronged but will never admit it.

It's a friggin' loss in November, people, not the apocalypse. Everyone lost their minds after the '08 squad had a few apathetic clunkers during conference season. It was so bad that the players had a players only meeting after they completely mailed it in against a pretty sucky Okie State team that finished the year 17-16. That pathetic performance wasn't a sign of impending doom and it was in late February. Why does everyone freak out about a loss in NOVEMBER?!?

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Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

guys - sport fans or from their root word fanatics, have been acting this way since Greece. It is why some of us get an athletes autograph, buy products they sell, and get dressed up in their uniforms or the school colors. Fans do not always act rationally in great victories or when their team loses. If we all wear the same colors we should at least be able to allow some of us to say their piece without calling into question their intelligence or that what they said has no meaning.

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Beau Woolsey 7 months, 3 weeks ago

I have used this site for 3 years and commented on it for the first time today. I really miss the old site, it seemed like there was recruiting news everyday and people would always talk about basketball. I tried and I was blasted for lack of punctuation. I hope that change this site back. That being said my Breaking Bad comment was one of my favorite things I have written.

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Rodney Crain 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Beau big fan of Walt but I missed that one, had to go back and look for it. My 2 cents would be to stay on point on the team. The old site or its comments section are not coming back. Facebook has their soul now. Its a mistake that they do not understand yet, but we just have to live with it and move on.

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Walter Bridges 7 months, 3 weeks ago

Beau..If you don't know who I am, then maybe your best course would be to tread lightly.

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