Originally published January 17, 2013 at 03:38p.m., updated January 18, 2013 at 12:23a.m.


KU freshman guard says right ankle has responded well to treatment

Kansas guard Ben McLemore passes as he is defended by Texas Tech guards Ty Nurse and Daylen Robinson during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas guard Ben McLemore passes as he is defended by Texas Tech guards Ty Nurse and Daylen Robinson during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.


Kansas University freshman guard Ben McLemore pounded his hand on the floor after twisting his right ankle late in Monday’s basketball victory over Baylor in Allen Fieldhouse.

He didn’t mean to scare the heck out of KU fans, who were worried the 6-foot-5 St. Louis native might have suffered a serious injury instead of what was diagnosed as a Grade One ankle sprain.

“I was hurting at the time. I was in pain,” McLemore said Thursday. He had a big smile on his face after practicing “full-go” in preparation for Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at Texas.

“I also heard it pop. I felt my ankle getting real loose. Knowing that I thought something bad happened ... I calmed down and got up, and that was that.

“I mean, that was the first time I sprained my right ankle. It’s usually my left ankle,” added McLemore, who deemed his right ankle “85 percent.”

“Spraining it for the first time is kind of weird and scary. Now I’m just going to keep working on it and get better every day.”

McLemore, who was helped off the court by teammates and doctors after suffering the sprain, said he didn’t notice the concern in the fieldhouse stands.

“At the time, I didn’t hear it because of the pain and stuff,” he said. “Afterward, going in the locker room, the (student) manager was telling me, ‘You should have heard the crowd when you went down. It was complete silence.’ I appreciate the support of the fans asking me, ‘Are you all right?’ I’m doing fine. I’m doing rehab. I got done doing pool work early this week, doing a little laser treatment. I should be great by the time Saturday gets here.”

KU coach Bill Self, who said he believes McLemore “will be close to 100 percent come Saturday,” was asked at his weekly news conference if he was afraid when McLemore went down.

“I don’t think I was scared. Concerned is a better word. I’ve seen a lot of players turn an ankle in the past,” Self said. “I’d be nervous for anybody to get hurt. Because it was Ben, it seemed to me there was a little bit of air in the building that left.”

KU point guard Elijah Johnson said it was nice to have McLemore back at practice full speed Thursday. The entire team was awarded the day off Tuesday, with a brief shooting session held Wednesday.

“We’ve not had a full practice until today. He didn’t miss much,” Johnson said. “He’s all right. I think he kind of panicked on the court a little bit. It happens to all of us. Something happens to catch you off guard, you panic more than you should. I think that was the case. He’ll be all right.”

The Jayhawks’ practices aren’t as long this time of year.

“Ninety minutes around there every day,” Johnson said. “We know what we are doing. Every drill is cut in half. We get in and pretty much knock it out.”

High praise: Self is pleased with the work of senior point guard Johnson, who has averaged 9.9 points a game off 43.2 percent shooting (25 of 70 threes for 35.7 percent). He has 83 assists against 48 turnovers.

“If you had a football team, and they were 15-1, and the starting quarterback — this was his first year to play quarterback — you’d probably think the football team’s quarterback had a pretty good start to the year,” Self said. “To me, there’s only one stat that matters with a point guard. That’s wins and losses. I think he’s done a real good job there. He hasn’t made shots yet. You take away the fact he hasn’t made shots, he’s been pretty sound. He’s been very solid. When he’s been matched against other great point guards, he’s done a really nice job in those particular match-ups.”

Johnson grinned when told of Self’s praise.

“I appreciate that, coach,” he said. “I am not even focusing on myself, though. I am focusing on people like Ben, the rest of the team, getting them going. I lost a couple games in my book because I didn’t get Ben going a couple games. If we’re going to lose, we have got to lose with him. I like to see how the team evolves so I put my stats in that because I’m the one who does it (leads team).”

Self on freshman Perry Ellis, who has been more active of late: “Perry came in with a lot of expectations and hype because he’s local. If Perry came in from Arizona, we wouldn’t look at Perry the way we do now because we watched him grow up (in Wichita). Hype and expectations are around that,” Self said. “It takes everybody a little bit of time. Perry is going to be a terrific player. He’s just going through the process. There is a natural maturation process you go through. Sherron (Collins) until Christmas ... I didn’t know if he was coming back (to KU or staying in Chicago). He never got in the game hardly, and he’s probably the most talented kid we’ve had.”

Vitale gala: Self, former UConn coach Jim Calhoun and former Florida State football coach Bobby Bowden will be honored at Dick Vitale’s V Foundation cancer fundraiser on May 17 in Sarasota, Fla. To purchase tickets, go to

KU recruited Longhorn: KU recruited Texas starter Ioannis Papapetrou, a 6-8 freshman forward who is averaging 6.8 points and 4.4 rebounds a game.

“We offered Papi a scholarship, and he chose Texas,” Self said. “He’s having a good freshman year. He’s kind of a hybrid forward (who can) play the three and the four. He’s done a good job.”

This, that: Josh Perkins, a 6-2 junior from Regis Jesuit High in Aurora, Colo., has cut his list of schools to KU, Arizona, Colorado, Denver, Duke, Gonzaga, Minnesota, New Mexico and Stanford, according to He’s’s No. 42-rated player in the class of 2014. ... KU signee Conner Frankamp of Wichita North is one of 814 high school seniors being considered for the McDonald’s All-America game The final roster of 24 will be announced during the selection show on ESPNU at 4 p.m., Feb. 14.


thehawkster 5 years, 5 months ago

Excellent news. I look forward to seeing you in person this Saturday Mr. McLemore when you take on the longhorns!

Karen Holmes 5 years, 5 months ago

Taking suggestions for my sign to hold up at the game Sat. Have great seats and need to incorporate CBS. Should I do a shout out to Jaybate on it? C an B Mc S lam?

Justin Kruse 5 years, 5 months ago

"You're watching Coach Bill Self" or "Journey to the Tourney with Coach Bill Self"

Karen Holmes 5 years, 5 months ago


Just thought it would be funny for him to see his Screen Name on National TV.

Steve Reigle 5 years, 5 months ago

If you want to use the C an B Mc S lam, how about a couple of explanation points following it to make it an exclamation rather than a question.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

If it was a high ankle sprain, it would be obvious he couldn't go, so treat it for another day, wrap it up and maybe play BenMac a minimum amount pending the flow of the game.

You can always go Naadir and Elijah or slide Travis up and insert Perry to go with Jeff and Kevin as well as AWIII getting some precious minutes.

741hawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Question for the "Board Experts": Is Perry playing out of position? If we had another post player, would Perry be playing the 3?

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

I think that's the spot Julius Randle covets!!

Kye Clark 5 years, 5 months ago


In college he is probably most suited to play a kind of hybrid 4. Similar to Marcus Morris. His back-to-the-basket game is servicable, but he's better at taking bigger, slower-moving 4s off the dribble. With the way the college game is evolving, being a hybrid 4 is a huge plus. When teams want to go small (Misery, ISU), a hybrid 4 can hold his own on defense guarding on the perimeter.

Now if he is to make it in the NBA, he will need to polish his game at the 3, or at least showcase he has the skills to develop at that spot.

justanotherfan 5 years, 5 months ago

I haven't seen anything from Perry to suggest he has the lateral quickness to be a regular 3. I've heard some people suggest that, but my fear is that Perry is a bit of a 'tweener. Not quite big enough or strong enough to be a full time 4, not quite quick enough to be a 3.

Michael Leiker 5 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget he can't hit the broad side of a barn beyond 6 ft

Andy Godwin 5 years, 5 months ago

No. But if he could get his shot to start falling a bit more consistently, it would help Withey greatly because opposing teams are sagging off of Young. Ellis could be a much better scoring threat and could make the other teams pay, but he still is not consistent on either offense or defense. He threw up two airballs which were not even close last game. He could really help this team if he could step up and be more reliable game in and game out.

Michael Leiker 5 years, 5 months ago

Perry will be a 5 at WSU before he's a 3 at KS

jhox 5 years, 5 months ago

I believe he's a 4. I don't see him as a 3 at all.

riverdrifter 5 years, 5 months ago

If it was a high ankle sprain he'd be out for most of the rest of the season, if not all of it.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

By the way, based on the current recruiting class, assuming no transfers, counting redshirt years, looking at this years nine man rotation versus an assumed ten man rotation for next season...the count is 24 man years of experience for the 12/13 team versus 7 man years of experience for 13/14.

Kansas goes from one of the most experienced teams in Division 1 to one of the youngest!!

Scott Smetana 5 years, 5 months ago

We lose all 5 starters.. how often has that happened? I predict pre-season #16, then in top 5 by January.

kufaninmo 5 years, 4 months ago

he asked "how often" once? that's the only other time i can remember.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 5 months ago

If we don't land Randle we're going to need REALLY BIG THINGS from Lucas next season. I don't think Embiid woudl be ready right off the bat.

Boouk 5 years, 5 months ago

I hope White plays more than he usually does Staurday in case we have another injury to a guard later in the season and to get him more experience for next year when he'll probably be a starter.

Kent Noble 5 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree, Andrew definitely needs more playing. Coach Self braggs on what a great shooter he is but never gets playing time. Were going to need him down the strectch!! Releford or McLemore gets seriously hurt, were definitely going to need him.

Eliott Reeder 5 years, 5 months ago

PT for Anrio too, if possible, though it probably ain't gonna happen on the road. I am a believer in Anrio. I think he will give us some very good extended minutes someday...

Displayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

I kind of see Anrio as the next Travis Releford if he puts in the time and effort.

JhawkalumJB 5 years, 5 months ago

Rub a little dirt on it.....

Now get in the game B Mac!!!

Scott Smetana 5 years, 5 months ago

Way off topic, but has been fun for me and my Dad to rank Withey, Ostertag, and Aldrich. All defensive monsters... who would you take first?

David Leathers 5 years, 5 months ago

If it were just for defense, Withey of course. If you wanted the best combo of the two it would be Aldrich.

Robert Murphy 5 years, 5 months ago

What are you talking about rock Ostertag played many years in the NBA. Aldrich never gets off the bench. Did you know that if you spell check Ostertag you get aftertaste. I personally think Withey will be the best of the three if he doesn't get hurt.

ccarp 5 years, 5 months ago

I think Withey will have the best pro career of the 3

KGphoto 5 years, 5 months ago

Boy that's tough. Ostertag played a key defensive role for a perennial powerhouse in Utah for 9 seasons, including 2 Championship series' vs. Chicago. He got a standing O by the Utah fans in his final game. It would be great if Withey could top that.

Considering the level of team he was contributing to, and the amount of time he played that role for them, I would say he's had one of the most successful NBA careers in recent KU history. Paul Pierce, Danny Manning, Kirk Hinrich and Mario Chalmers are the only guys I can put squarely in front of him. You could argue Collison or maybe Gooden, but I think I have him as the 5th best NBA Hawk in the last 30 years or more.

So yeah, I hope you're right.

Kevin Huffman 5 years, 5 months ago

Shot-blocking and even offense = Withey. Rebounding = Ostertag. Best "reach" = Aldrich. I think Aldrich was probably the "strongest" of all three too.

NJHAWK 5 years, 5 months ago

Can not compare O vs Withey. They played in a completely different defensive style of play. Ostertag would have been much better in all aspects of the game, if he would have played for coach Self.

AsadZ 5 years, 5 months ago

Withey for sure. His impact from D point of view is off the charts. What's unique about his D is how many shots are altered due to his presence.

John Randall 5 years, 5 months ago

Altered shots is a huge impact, but I think it's even more remarkable how many of his blocks also become steals because he keeps them in play. That kind of control also keeps his fouls to a minimum.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 5 months ago

Answers to the above -- Oak is right on McLemore's ankle; Ellis is a 4; Withey is the best defensively; and yes, White should get some PT.

Curtis Stutz 5 years, 5 months ago

If we'd had a lead against ISU I'm sure HCBS would have put White in at the 4 and seen how it worked out. As it was couldn't afford to experiment. In the Baylor game they bring some big bodies up front and put on pretty good ball pressure with the smalls so just tough matchups at either the 3 or 4 for AW3. Texas on the other hand could be an opportunity for him to play at either the 3 or 4. Some of it might come down to what he's bringing in practice too.

Aldrich was probably a better defensive rebounder than Withey so it's a tough call.

DCLawHawk 5 years, 5 months ago

On the Withey/Ostertag/Aldrich question, we'd have to look at defensive rebounds, blocks, and (ideally) the team's defensive FG% when that player is on the floor versus when that player is not on the floor for that season's team. Absent that data, I'm going just on memory and the eye test. I'd have to rank it Withey, Aldrich, Ostertag. Throwing in some data, the Aldrich/Ostertag comparison is 860 blocks for Aldrich (7.7 per game) and 770 for Ostertag (6.1 per game). That includes offensive rebounds, so it's not the best comparison. But Aldrich has the clear edge. Others outshine Ostertag in this stat too. Chenowith, for instance, had 933 rebounds (6.7 per game). Likewise on blocks, Aldrich had 253 (2.3 per game) and Ostertag had 258 (2.0 per game). Withey has had 444 rebounds (4.6 per game) and 240 blocks (2.5 per game). I bet Withey would look even better if we used rebounds per minute played instead of per game. In any case, sign me up for Withey, Aldrich, Ostertag.

Scott Smetana 5 years, 5 months ago

Great post. Hard to believe how far Withey has come in 2 years. I didn't think he belonged on this team when I first saw him play. However, Aldrich seemed like a better rebounder and threat on offense. Ostertag has our fading memories against him, but I clearly remember his awesome battles against Big Country.

DCLawHawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Thanks PPS. Good battles against Big Country, but I also remember Purdue's Glenn Robinson dunking over Ostertag. The look on O's face was priceless. He didn't think it was possible for anyone to dunk over him.

Dirk Medema 5 years, 5 months ago

The Big Dogg was pretty nasty that way.

Michael Leiker 5 years, 5 months ago

Have a feeling Sarurday will be a close one. Gonna need him

HawkKlaw 5 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like that's becoming less and less of a possibility.

mikehawk 5 years, 5 months ago

The sound you hear is the collective "sigh of relief" heard across the Jayhawk Nation.

Rob Keeney 5 years, 5 months ago

You're assuming they really give a damn.

edmondjayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

  1. Withey 2.Cole /Ostertag...
  2. Ostertag/Cole

I'll take Withey over Cole and O based on one statistic. Withey can block shots and produce on the offensive end WITHOUT getting into foul trouble. I don't think I've ever seen a better college player block and alter more shots than Withey without fouling.... Plus his % from the free throw line is huge.

ku_foaf 5 years, 5 months ago

Hard not to love all three of these guys. Withey has the skill you noted, the best blocker KU has had since at least 1979.

Cole was fantastic at ripping down rebounds and making fast long down court passes, and also a great shot blocker.

Of course Oestertag is the biggest and the strongest of the three, and you cannot replace that. He was good at either end, but overall not as skilled as the other two, although with a long NBA career he obviously knew what to do.

Michael Auchard 5 years, 5 months ago

Wayne Selden and Brannen Greene are on the McDonald's AA game list, too. On the list I saw, Greene's name was misspelled as Brennen, though.

Ben Kane 5 years, 5 months ago

what in the world is going on with this website?

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

Chuch..I agree..I thought, oh crap there's high traffic.... something must have happened and there's a 50% chance that it was bad!!! First thought..Ben reinjured his ankle..second thought, Randle committed to UK...third thought, Max came out of retirement!!

clevelandjayhawker 5 years, 5 months ago

Wish Max would do one more game, Bob and Max could make listening better than watching the game on tv, and only slightly behind being at the game.

Robert Brock 5 years, 5 months ago

Must be the traffic caused by Manti Te'o's girlfriend.

FarSideHawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Oak, I thought the exact same thing and started going to twitter, KC Star, and ESPN bracing myself for some major (bad) news! :)

Eric Williams 5 years, 5 months ago

Evidence that McD AA is worth nothing. 814 Seniors were nominated.

Any coach can nominate their Senior, then high schools and colleges can claim they have a recruit who was, at the very least, a McDonald's All-American nominee.

I can't remember if I was told this by a coach, or read it somewhere, so dismiss this as Internet lies if you wish, but I have heard also that college coaches will request the high school coach nominate a player so it makes their recruiting class look more prestigious.

HawkKlaw 5 years, 5 months ago

Yeah but of those 814 that are nominated, only 24 make the final roster. That means something.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

There are approximately 28,000 public high schools in America. let's say there are a third more of private schools. That totals 37, times that by, oh say, four seniors per team. The total is 148,000 seniors playing high school basketball. 824 suddenly looks a little more exclusive to me to the tune of 99.5% are NOT nominated!!!

Eric Williams 5 years, 4 months ago

there are only 25ish 5-star players and 75ish 4-5 star recruits...why add 725 more nominees?

HawkKlaw 5 years, 5 months ago

Doesn't sound like anybody in the Jayhawk camp is too concerned about Ben's ankle. I still think he should play as sparingly as possible, but if the game isn't a blowout, I see him getting close to his average of 30mpg.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 5 years, 5 months ago

Honestly, I would limit his playing time on Saturday, and reassure that he's at full-strength for the K-State game.

Obviously you don't want to overlook any game, but no one seems to understand that the biggest game in conference play is Tuesday night. The attitude I get from everyone is, "oh it's K-State...we own them."

But apparently no one else has watched them this year but me. Not only are they solid, but factor in that they only sell out when KU is in town. The environment will be hostile, and we will need to play our A game to get out with a win.

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago

You make a very good case, Reuben.

Self always looks at these two game series from the POV of how can I play it so I am most likely to win two.

He usually chooses to amp for one team and not the other.

He usually chooses to sub a lot for one game and play seven for the other.

The order that he does these things, depends on which team he thinks requires the greater effort to beat.

I haven't seen either team play, so I don't know.

But based on your take, you can figure that Self will play Texas a little flat, and play a lot of guys a lot of minutes the first half against Texas, and then 7 the second half, and then wait for the big effort Tuesday night against KSU.

But I suppose it most depends on match-ups at each position about which team he amps for.

One thing is sure.

He won't amp for both.

REHawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Is terrific that athletes at KU have access to an array of healing procedures, as well as knowledgeable trainers and personnel. The pool and laser treatment for a Grade 1 sprain.

FearlessJayhawk 5 years, 5 months ago

Stay healthy Ben, I want to see you in the pro ranks soon.

Timmay97 5 years, 5 months ago

Let's not forget we are playing AT Texas on Saturday. Forget their record. As far as they are concerned, this is their Superbowl. Every single team plays KU different.....EVERY SINGLE TEAM!!! KU will always be the hunted. Teams are thinking they need to be knocked off their perch, PERIOD!!!

To me, there is not one "gimmie" game that KU will play this year in the Big 12. That's including TCU. Any of these Big 12 teams will think of beating Kansas as their highlight for the year.

I'm confident in my team.......I really am. However, I'm also cautious. Nobody can beat KU if they play their "A" game.......but if they don't, they will be beat.

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago

Good point.

I anticipate Barnes maybe trying to rough KU up as a way to get a win.

On the other hand, his players may be too young for that sort of approach.

I still don't think anyone has really lowered the boom on us yet this year.

The question is: why not knock Withey to the floor when he tries for his first block and then again on his second block, so that he hears footsteps. And then the minute he gets a clean block, knock him down the next two times he tries for a block. Just keep him hearing footsteps.

And why not just throw Kevin Young to the floor, or trip him when he starts running everywhere?

I would also tell my team to start putting all of KU's players down hard.

I really doubt KU could stand up to a game like Purdue hung on them last season in the tourney.

I hope Barnes doesn't do it. But a young Rick Barnes most certainly would have.

He used to play some serious butcher ball up until the last two seasons.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

Have you actually seen TCU play...they're HORRIBLE!! But I do agree that on any given game day, etc. And besides, it's not a good idea to get in the habit of not bringing your "A Game" every time.

Scott Smetana 5 years, 5 months ago

I really hope Texas plays their best game of the year this Saturday. Of course I want to win, but a loss doesn't hurt much at all. We need the competition!!

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago

Part 2

Iba understood that making opponents slide side to side for 30 seconds tired their legs more than it tired an offensive player's legs running straight ahead at angles. So: Iba kept stretching out the time he held the ball with weaves that defenders had to guard, while sliding, as his offenders ran forward expending almost no effort. It worked. He won rings with inferior talent. And he kept winning a decent percentage with lousy talent. But it got him labeled slow. And Iba never recovered from the label.

Slow was not cool.

Paul Hansen was Iba's assistant. And Hansen became HC and modernized the Iba game, just as Eddie Sutton, Jack Hartman and Don Haskins did. But Hansen got hung with the label slow and never recovered. He was too closely identified with slow.

Self knows exactly what happened to Ted Owens. Ted got hung with the label slow. Ted played whatever pace his big men and his perimeter shooting benefitted most from. Ted had at least two running teams in his years at KU. But even when they ran, KU was called slow by national media. The national media needs labels, because they don't understand the game much, and they are trying to sell soap and tampons to an audience they believe is in a near vegetative state. They use labels that are easy to understand and reinforce with repetition. Slow and fast--that's about as sophisticated as it gets in national broadcasting media. Oh and dunks and treys. Watch the game summaries on ESPN. They never report how a team actually played and won the game. They just say it was close, or it was a blow out, and then show dunks and treys, treys and dunks, and a couple glares into the camera. Next.

Labels stick.

Image has to be managed.

Self knows this.

That's why he dresses snappy, when in fact he's a jock that likes sweats and tennies.

That's why he probably went to the hair club.

Being a genius without image management means you will be fired too.

Manage the image.

That's why public relations is such a massive expenditure in business, politics and sports.

Manage the image.

Image is what is being bought and sold and communicated.

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago

Part 3

If you are a genius of a basketball coach, you still have sell image, just like the non genius coaches do.

Doc Sadler would still be coaching for NU and Dr. Albino, if he had managed his image.

Mark Mangino would still be coaching football for KU if he had followed Al Roker's lead and got a gut operation to halve his weight.

Charlie Weis would probably still be at Notre Dame had he managed his image more closely.

Managing image does not necessarily mean being pretty. But it means finding what your audience values in image that you can deliver and then packaging it the best way you can. Weis can look as he does and make it, if he can show case the burly, roley polely part of image of a tough football coach, and play down the fat part. Mangino didn't, and though he was a terrific coach, it made him vulnerable being unsympathetic, once any flaw or bad luck he had surfaced.

An image driven world is a crazy way to order society, but it is how it is.

Self knows he has to play slow a lot of the time to win.

Self knows the percentages.

If KU teams learn to guard hard for 35 seconds, it reduces the number of trips, reduces the opponent's shooting percentage, and increases the chance for strips, blocks and stops. But it isn't sexy. Even now most KU fans are sitting around thinking, well, its ugly, but its working. But they don't really love it, unless they become students of the game and of just how sophisticated a game Self is playing.

Strategically, the last thing Self wants is an opposing team taking quick open looks. That is anathema, because it means high shooting percentages for the opponent, little chance for a strip, and leaves them more energy for defense. It is as near to a law as there is in basketball, that players play harder and tougher on defense after a made basket than after a miss.

On the offensive end, Self understands that if KU guards for 35 seconds on defense, then on offense either his players have to get a quick good look (what he hates for the opponent to get), or they have to hold it and make the opponent guard them sliding laterally for at least as long as KU had to guard them. If that doesn't happen, then KU is leaving the opponent with extra energy on both ends.

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago

Part 4

Long ago I reduced basketball to an energy budget and explained it to board rats, but energy budgets aren't cool, just like playing slow is not cool.

But just like you have to know how to play slow to win, you have to understand energy budgets to win.

In basketball, there are energy budget strategies and tempo strategies.

Deplete their energy budget more than yours, and disrupt their tempo and you are very, very, very, very likely to find a way to win.

Everything else is just X's and O's, rebounding, ball movement, cutting angles, sliding, athleticism and shooting proficiency. And everyone does these things pretty similarly, given the talent at hand.

But there is real sophistication involved in the energy budget game and in the tempo game. A coach has a lot of input into the energy budget and the tempo, probably more than in any other facet of the game.

What Self means about his team playing better without rhythm is that if his team can sometimes get easy baskets on strip and break dunks, and sometimes run the weave and drag it out, then this raises tempo up and down. In a sense this is dictating no tempo in particular, which is much easier to do that dictating a particular tempo.

Why is it easier?

Because of the the third law of thermodynamics, if you like deterministic physics, or because of the tendency of simplicity to evolve into complexity, if you like more contemporary Complexity Theory. Systems tend to want to fly apart. Order tends toward disorder. Periodicity tends toward aperiodicity. Rhythm tends to break down into arrhythmia.

"Everything put together, sooner or later, falls a part." --Paul Simon

This irregular tempo Self apparently actually encourages, causes huge problems for any opponent that wants to dictate tempo. This is the real underlying secret of Self Ball, of Eddie Ball, of Haskins and Hartman ball, and why they win so much, and often with lesser talent.

But so the KU faithful do not jump on me for comparing Self to Eddie and the Okie Ballers, Self has refined this aspect of Okie Ball more than any one else at this point.

Most coaches, until Self became so wildly successful, thought only about dictating tempo. (Note: they are now studying him eagerly).

Dictating tempo is great, but only if/when you can actually dictate it.

Trying and failing to dictate tempo is really a bad position to be in. It is overreaching ones grasp. And when one crafts a team specifically to be able to dictate a certain tempo and then runs into a Bill Self team, well, 84% of the time bad things happen to tempo dictators.

And being confoundingly unable to dictate tempo is exactly the position Self Ball puts most opponents in.

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago

Part 5

IMHO, Self was the first guy to really figure out how to beat the Princeton. He did it by varying tempo, on an system that craves to control the tempo entirely with zone defense on one end, and with a scripted 35 second offense on the other end that forces teams to guard the full clock and in turn shoot lower percentage shots with tired legs. Self trained his guys to guard for 35 seconds, AND to strip, so the even though his guys go for 30-35 seconds often, there are also quite a few trips where the strips shorten it up. The average is more like 20-25 seconds probably. This is doable and it leaves the Princeton with out ever getting that high percentage open look it requires. At the opposite end, Self just throws it inside and bangs until his shooting percentage exceeds the Princetons. Next.

If you stop and think about it, though, Self Ball works equally as well against Roy's Speed-it-up offense, as against a slow-it-down Princeton. Roy's offense needs lots of trips and its runners need to get into a rhythm of a regular fast breaking offense. It needs quick shooting by its opponents, too, to get the increased trips.

Self alternates between jumping in the lanes on on Roy's offense, and guarding it endlessly. Self Defense thus makes some offensive trips for UNC short without a shot and some long with a low percentage shot. This is anathema to Roy ball. At the other end, Self makes them play defense on all but an open dunk. Their job is to get a quick break. They don't get it. So, in total, UNC is out of rhythm on both ends of the floor, even if it happens to be shooting better than KU.

IMHO, Self Ball has struggled most against Boeheim's Syracuse system. Why? Because Boeheim's Syracuse system relies on zone on one end to slooooooooow you down and cut your inside shooting percentage very low (just like a Princeton). But on the other end, Boeheim plays a very simple inside out game that mostly relies on great athleticism in half court sets. Sound familiar? Boeheim figured out long ago what Self figured out less long ago--arrhythmic tempo is everything, only Boeheim decided to use zone to do what Self does with m2m. Every game with Boeheim is muddy with varied tempo. And because he's playing zone, he almost always holds the rebounding advantage.

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago

Part 6

Boeheim could beat Self with better players and with worse players early on, because the zone always made KU shoot less well inside than Syracuse did inside against KU's m2m, and 'Cuse tended to control the boards.

Self began to break Boeheim's advantage when Self apparently spent a ton of time figuring out how to attack zone defenses. If you notice, opponents hardly play any zone against KU any more, and this is so whether KU is a weak outside shooting team like last season, or a pretty good one like this season. I have never been able to figure out what exactly Self figured out in how to attack zones that has made such a difference. The only thing I can say is that KU became an order of magnitude better at originating zone offense from the 4 man positioned in the top half of the free throw circle. Why this works so well eludes me in part because of this: My high school team used to use the identical strategy against zone defenses 40 years ago and so have other teams for decades. Inference: there is something else going on that triggers the effectiveness in addition to getting the ball in the 4's hands. And it doesn't have to do solely with talent.

That's all for now, Hawkswin.

HawksWin 5 years, 5 months ago

Wow. That's one awesome reply! I'll have to read it several times to digest. I knew there was a logical explanation(s) for the beat down of Roy. Will be watching Self's game with new and improved set of eyes now. Thanks Jaybate!

David Gisi 5 years, 5 months ago

Its a good point about beating the zone. I think you are correct about "something else going on that triggers the effectiveness." Coach Self is very adamant about "angles" of pass entry and driving to attack the paint. It may have as much to do with where the pass comes from as that its going to that spot near the top of the key. You are also right that the basic strategy of passing from "high post" to "low post" is a strategy that's been around for a long time. In fact, if you went back to watch the 2003 NC game, you would see that Roy instituted that as well. Graves and Collison passed from high to low several times in that game and it is probably the sole reason KU should have won that game. The announcers in that game kept blubbering over and over about how KU had to be able to shoot from the outside to have a chance to win and how they weren't breaking the zone from the outside. I kept yelling back, "They don't need to shoot from the outside. They are doing the one thing you should theoretically never be able to do against that zone, pass effectively from high post to low post."

kckuguy 5 years, 5 months ago

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HawksWin 5 years, 5 months ago

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nostradavid 5 years, 5 months ago

Part 7

All good Jayhawks go to Heaven (a barstool at the Bierstube for us Lawrence Low Lifes)

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago


I recall one stool at the 'stube that an angelic friend of mine used to sit on. It was reserved for those one day old and grey deserving an express trip to heaven. I reckon that will be yours.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 5 months ago

Kansas 75 Texas 60, BenMac 22 minutes, 14 points, little red-headed girl does not show this year, AWIII scores [on the court].

HAWKS1 5 years, 5 months ago

Good Lord jaybate, do you have a job? How do you have the time (or the desire for that matter) to post such bloviated comments? Does anyone have the time to read them (or the desire for that matter)? Not trying to be nasty..... just curious. ha Go Hawks! Knock the dung out of the Longhorns!

HawksWin 5 years, 5 months ago

Actually Hawks1, I do read it because it helps me to understand the game thus able to enjoy it more. Watching players run up and down the court doesn't require much understanding, and it is not as fun watching. Appreciate anyone who goes the extra mile to teach and help novices like me to understand the game better. Glad to know you don't need it. RCJHKU!

jaybate 5 years, 5 months ago


I think you may be being a bit of a hyperpolysyllabicsesquepedalianist using bloviate, don't you? :-)

Nevertheless and irregardless, and as the case may (or may not) be, in the interest of promoting, championing, advocating, and encouraging vocabulary growth, here are some more lexemic constellations you can utilize for bloviate, since you appear undaunted and undauntable by imitative fallaciousness.

SYNONYMS circuitous, circumlocutory, diffuse, garrulous, logorrheic, long-winded, pleonastic, prolix, rambling, verbose, windy

RELATED WORDS chatty, communicative, conversational, gabby, loquacious, talkative, talky, voluble; periphrastic; redundant, repetitious, tautological, tautologous; embellished, embroidered, exaggerated; bombastic, gaseous, gassy, grandiloquent, highfalutin (also hifalutin)

And I don't mean to be nasty either (nor do I have the desire to be either). :-)

Kye Clark 5 years, 5 months ago

I've been saying about Perry what Self just reinforced, and that is that expectations were so much higher for him because so many of us have spent the past several years watching & following his high school career in hopes he would in fact come to KU. I'm as guilty as anyone in this regard. But he's coming along, and I expect him to have a very good 3-4 years collegiate career. He might never have a "break-out" game, where he dominates. But did Markeiff & Marcus have one of those games their freshman year?

AsadZ 5 years, 5 months ago

I believe Marcus did have a breakout game his freshman year against KSU in Manhattan. I don't know his stats in that game but I recall that we were down big in 1H and MM was instrumental in turning the game around especially in 2H.

Jack Wilson 5 years, 5 months ago

ict .. exactly. When there were the comments suggesting Ellis might average 10 plus per game, I compared him to Marcus saying, do we really think he's going to be better his first season? I'll admit, I was hopeful and thought he'd have the starting job by no later than the Christmas break. Young has been a surprise. Ellis is coming along, as you suggest. He might drop 20 one night very soon.

Robert Murphy 5 years, 5 months ago

Have you noticed when you spell check Ostertag you get aftertaste? Did you know aftertaste played 9 years in the NBA?

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