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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

KU coach Bill Self: ‘I’m concerned about everything’

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, right, Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot and forward Billy Preston watch the waning moments of the Jayhawks' 85-73 loss to Texas Tech, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, right, Kansas forward Mitch Lightfoot and forward Billy Preston watch the waning moments of the Jayhawks' 85-73 loss to Texas Tech, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Less than an hour after KU's 21-point victory over Stanford in Sacramento just before Christmas, Kansas coach Bill Self offered a brutally honest but hopeful assessment of where his team stood entering conference play.

Two games and 12 days later, many of the same things Self was concerned about then appear to be legitimate problems now for this Kansas team, which fell to No. 18 Texas Tech, 85-73, on Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks also dropped to 1-1 in Big 12 play for the first time since the 2005-06 season.

Consider a comparison of comments made nearly two weeks apart as an example of KU's inability to evolve thus far.

“We're going to be a team, unfortunately, that needs to make shots to probably win big games,” Self said then, before adding that KU's defense was “average at best” and the Jayhawks were “not a great rebounding team.” “Our perimeter shooting should be enough to carry us some games, but we're just not a grind-it-out team yet. But if we get a little bigger, maybe we can become that.”

Added Self Tuesday night after KU's third loss and second so far this season at Allen Fieldhouse: “When you have to make shots to play good because you're a pretty team or a finesse team, that's a formula for getting beat when you play against tough teams. I hate to say this, it's going to be hard to win if we don't shoot better, obviously. But that's not what turns coaches on. So you miss a shot. What do you do after the ball's shot?”

Too often this season the answer to that question, which is critical to the brand of Bill Self basketball, has left the KU coach cringing on the sideline or grabbing his head in frustration.

As was the case Tuesday, the Jayhawks are regularly getting outhustled, outmuscled and even outsmarted in both wins and losses.

Nowhere did that show up more than on the glass Tuesday night, when the Red Raiders outrebounded Kansas, 44-29 and 18-8 on the offensive glass. In its last two games, KU has given up a 36 combined offensive rebounds to Texas and Texas Tech.

“I don't care how small you are, tough teams and competitive guys don't allow that to happen,” Self said.

The question now is not necessarily why those things happened, but rather what the 10th-ranked and sure-to-fall Jayhawks (11-3 overall, 1-1 Big 12) can do to fix their issues.

In order to get them fixed for good, KU is going to have to figure out a recipe that's better than just making more shots.

“I'm not sure we were a lot better at Texas in some of these areas,” Self said. “But we just made so many shots, it didn't matter.”

Self had no problem pinpointing parts of the game in which he would like to see immediate improvement, steps that would allow the Jayhawks to make the jump to becoming a tougher team.

“Honestly, I'm concerned about everything,” he said. “I didn't see that much juice or that much intensity or guys rebounding the ball above the rim, you know, playing with reckless abandon. I didn't see any of that. ... We're fairly athletic when we're turned up, but we didn't even come close to even jumping for balls. Their wings, their guards, obviously outplayed our guards.”

In short, play more like Texas Tech did.

“I don't want to take anything away from Arizona State and Kentucky,” Self said. “But I'm not sure (Texas Tech is) not the best team we've played this season. They've got 10 guys and they're interchangeable and they guard and they like each other and they play for each other. (Texas Tech coach Chris Beard has) done a great job. A great job.”

Kansas will look to get back on track at 8:15 p.m. Saturday night at No. 16 TCU.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas Tech


By the Numbers: Texas Tech 85, Kansas 73

By the Numbers: Texas Tech 85, Kansas 73

Comments

Andy Godwin 2 weeks, 6 days ago

"I’m concerned about everything" said Self. I think the KU fan base shares that sentiment.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I think as a fan base we feel helpless..There are 2 players on the bench that would elevate us to a higher level are are exactly what we need, but we have to wait for someone else (NCAA) to clear them to play (something in which they arent usually in a hurry to do)..meanwhile this team has big games coming up and cant afford to NOT have them!!!!!

Creg Bohrer 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I don't think having Preston and Desousa would make a difference. We have plenty of talent without them they need that edge and toughness we had last year.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

that is incorrect...with Preston playing the whole season KU is much better in every category....they wouldn't have more than 1 loss, if any. Preston isn't another 3 point shooting guard, he is a big man with size and skill...he is exactly what this team lacks

Tom Jones 2 weeks, 5 days ago

It makes a huge difference, alas. Teams don't have to worry about an inside game outside of Udoka. It makes us incredibly easy to guard.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

it also doesn't help that no one is driving to the basket or drawing fouls

Jerry Rockhold 2 weeks, 6 days ago

So to put some recent historical perspective on how we got to this point...

The basketball equivalent of a "perfect storm" has occurred.

Highly-touted 6-9 Carlton Bragg washed out & transferred. 6-9 Dwight Coleby transferred as well. Transfers 6-10 Evan Maxwell and 6-9 Jack Whitman also left.

Imagine the difference in the current team with one or two of these players staying, especially a proven player such as Coleby playing the high post with Doke down low. It appears that maybe the common denominator in such an attrition/mass exodus was a possible lack of playing time. Pretty ironic, since it is painfully apparent how much we need more size & depth inside.

Another important consideration is to compare our current roster with recent previous year's teams. We have no likely NBA Lottery or 1st round picks with Doke & Graham coming the closest & they both will need to improve significantly. No Frank Mason, no Josh Jackson in either talent or "alpha dog" mentality. We rely way too much on the risky proposition of 3-pt, shots without any consistent inside presence, lock-down defense, rim defender, dominant rebounding or even just an overall team toughness or "want to."

We absolutely need to find a dependable ball-handling 2nd guard to help out Devonte, maybe Cunliffe can develop because Malik seems lost right now. And as we all know, we have to get Silvio & Billy on the floor asap.

My final takeaway faced with all this? This current KU team is not last year's team & will have to find a way to overcome their obvious shortcomings. I'm hopeful we'll be much better in February and especially by the time March Madness rolls around. It we do overcome & improve dramatically, this may well be Bill Self's best coaching job since taking over at KU.

Stay tuned.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

it really took a lot to happen for KU to get to where they are....if Preston wasn't being held out, all those other players could have left and KU would still have 1 loss max..they certainly wouldn't have lost 3 times by double digits

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Hate to say it but this season is a wash.

At this point, I'd rather see both Preston and Desousa redshirt.

If/when they both get cleared to play this year, they'll spend the majority of the time playing catch up. Remember how Chiek Diallo ended up?

Would much rather let this season go.

I think the damage is already done, it'll take a miracle to win the league this year.

Unfortunately, I see us losing several more games this year.

Let's load up for next season.

Mike Hart 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Yonatan, that is just plain ignorant. This season is a wash.... much rather let this season go. Are you kidding? What exactly are you advocating, that the fan base just give up in support of the team? That's really fair to seniors Graham and Svi... but how quickly we are to give up on a team after ONE conference loss. We aren't 1-5 in the conference.. .we are 1-1. "The date is already done". Unbelievable... you, my friend... don't deserve a winner with that attitude. Why would you rather see Preston and DeSousa red-shirt? They aren't going to stick around for multiple years anyway, so saving them a year of eligibility doesn't do squat. This team is precisely one dimensional, because they lack a guy like Preston or DeSousa to pair with Dok down low and help with inside presence and attacking the glass.

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Hey tough guy, you're the one that is ignorant. I made my statements, you don't have to agree with any of it. No one asked to read my agree but I will not allow you to attack me in this fashion, that I can assure you.

Jerry Walker 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Correctamundo, Mike. His comments were poorly thought out and incoherent.

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Jerry, I stand by what I said, there is no mistake. You should think things through and be more coherent in your analysis. Go back and analyze the situation. Here I'll give some hints 1.) Preston's situation doesn't look promising 2.) De Sousa's situation is no better 3.) KU has 8 more games scheduled for the rest of January including games at TCU, WV, OK, KSU and home against A&M. 4.) Take a look at the recruits coming in next season, you tell me what do you see?

RJ King 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Preston and Desousa redshirting. You lost your credibility right there.

Well, at least you won't see us losing several more games this year, because you are letting the season go. See you next year.

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

More losses are inevitable, I'm not in denial like you are. We will lose 10+ games this season, whether you like or not, it's going to happen.

DeSousa was originally a recruit for next season and he's not going to be a one and done.

Why rush?

John Strayer 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Why wait...he has 4 years...and likely will be at KU for 2 max. Might as well get into the mix and pick up some experience since he's here any way. What does it matter since you've thrown in the towel already.

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

You think De Sousa went through all this trouble to reclassify so that he could redshirt? That's nonsensical.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

@Yon..you don't deserve to be a KU fan after those comments...1st off, Diallo sat 10 games and was still new to the game itself, Preston has played his whole life while also playing all preseason..if he started next game, he'd produce..DeSousa would take time..the damage isn't done, they are 11-3 and 1-1 in league..if they win Saturday, the tension will ease up...neither Preston nor DeSousa will or should redshirt....DeSousa playing would give him a leg up on experience for next season, that is a positive and Preston, you really think he'd redshirt after all he has been though and then come back next year? you are fooling yourself..With this roster as is, I fully expect 10 losses this season, but that doesn't mean imma just give up on them and not care if they improve?!!!!

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Craig, First, there is absolutely nothing you can do or say to take away my Jayhawk badge, that's not happening. Secondly, besides the 10 game Diallo missed, what else do you remember? How much difference did he make the rest of the season? Not much, his season was wrecked because he had to play catch up the rest of the season. I think you're underestimating Preston's situation. Obviously, we both know it's more complex and confusing to say the least. Looking back, there is absolutely no chance Preston would redshirt. I think he would drop out of school and go overseas before he redshirts. Selfishly, I wished that we could get him back for one more year but in reality, that's not going to happen. So, no sense of going back and forth on that. Preston is gone no matter what happens this season. My initial post was to simply state the obvious, this is not a very good Kansas team. My definition of wash season is to not expect much out of this group (i.e., winning the big 12, NCAA, etc.). and used this season as a rebuilding season. Yep, I plan to continue rooting for the team and hope for the best.

Glen Miller 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Why on Earth would we redshirt DeSousa and Preston if eligible? I don't get that logic..... Neither is likely to stay 4 years if they do what is expected so tell me what good "saving" a season of eligibility would do? Why not get them some experience and grab some more wins with some depth? This is Kansas folks, we win games at all costs and Self will put them on the floor this season if cleared and he SHOULD! We may not win league even with these guys, but I darn sure would rather find out then watch them sit. Add two quality bigs to this team, which both could be and should be and we are a different team that could absolutely turn our fortunes around. Some of y'all are spoiled rotten and act like the world is collapsing when we lose a few games. How many times in our run have we thought this was the year we don't win it and we did? Season is still young folks, let's see how it plays out. RCJH

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

With or without Preston and DeSousa KU will lose more games this year than they have in recent years. Will most likely lose 10+ games this season alone. Quite frankly, I don't see them winning the big 12 this year. This is not a very strong Kansas team. I have never seen Bill Self this distraught, which is telling. I can give you several reasons why this Kansas team is not very good but you already know that.

Ken Tschetter 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Excellent post Jerry. The “perfect storm” you describe should also include accepting three transfers in one season. These transfers take scholarships but can’t help us this season unfortunately. The attrition and departures, while mostly unexpected, in combination with accepting transfers in, has left the roster thin. Throw in the NCAA eligibility joke and that’s why this isn’t a typical KU roster. Hope Self can work some magic!

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I personally love the transfers in..no they cant help this year, but next year they will have experience to add to the incoming talented freshmen..the ONLY reason those transfers out hurt us is the Preston fiasco...had he been playing, KU has 1 loss max, and it certainly wouldn't have been by double digits..he looked good in the preseason and would have been effective..with him, we probably don't see the 4 guard lineup, especially with Newman struggling..speaking of Newman, more was expected out of him as well, especially with how good he was in Italy

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

As a Kansas fan, I have come to terms this is a rebuilding year. I hate it as much as you do but what's the point of wasting a year of eligibility especially for Desousa?

Mike Hart 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I am shaking my head in disbelief about your question of wasting a year of eligibility. BILLY PRESTON WON'T STAY AT KANSAS MORE THAN 1-2 SEASONS... And DESOUSA NOT PROJECTED TO STAY 4 YEARS EITHER, so what eligibility are you WASTING, if the players won't be around 4 years to use up the eligibility anyway?

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Mike, you're entitled to your opinion.

Frankly, I think it's time for a reset and start the rebuilding process.

I think we have dodged the bullet one too many times the past four years.

First, Cliff Alexander, followed by Chiek Diallo, then Carlton Bragg and now Bill Preston, Colby leaving, etc. This is not a surprise to me that we not good this year.

We're too good of a program to be surviving year after year, we're better than that.

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

13 straight BIG 12 titles is "surviving" year after year?. BTW, it is Coleby.

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Would much rather have a stable program year after year because we're Kansas, we should have players wanted to come to Kansas and wanting to stay. We're Kansas, we should be contending for the national championship year after year. I would trade the 13 straight league championships for three national championships, I'm sure North Carolina and Duke would agree.

Allin Herring 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Yes this team has allot of shortcomings of which there is little that can be done to fix them short of getting cheating Preston and Desousa in the game. BUT knowing Bill they will need two weeks of practice after they are elligible and have at least 5 good practices before he will let them play in a game. By that time it will be February and the championship will have been lost. Let's face it Bill created this issue by his poor recruiting last year. Signing three transfes that took scholarships away leaving this year bench thin. Also by getting these transfers he lost Coleby who could have helped us but left. Then he decides to add another recruit with issues (we have at least one per year). Then add to that the programs administration takes until the middle of December to send anything to the NCAA about the case!! I know several of our players have not lived up to their billing but this one is on you Bill.

Mike Hart 2 weeks, 6 days ago

So off the mark, I can only reply to make that statement. And Yonatan, you live on a remote island in terms of your perspective, an Island I would not care to visit.

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Listen, you can disagree but keep it respectful. You will not make stupid comments like that and not expect push back. No one asked you to agree with my views.

Mike Hart 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Let's keep it respectful, right? So I will ask you once again: How is it wasting a year of eligibility on Preston and DeSousa when neither player will be at KU 4 years anyway? How is that a waste? And why would you not want to help out the current roster of players by having power forwards in the lineup... enabling guards like Vick/Svi to play their normal positions and have their normal defensive assignments. The original line of analysis you promulgated here advocated not playing these guys because it would waste a year of their eligibility, and I contend that that eligibility is irrelevant if they aren't going to stay at Kansas for 4 years.

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Ok. Let's try this one more time. First, I'm all for KU winning. Second, I admit Preston redshirting was a long shot. I don't even believe that he'll return next seasons, no matter what happens this season. As for DeSousa, I really believe he's being rushed due to the current circumstances we have and meer desperation to replace Preston's void. Lastly, by the time DeSousa is ready to play effectively, it'll probably be close to February, so do I think it's worth using a year of eligibility to win couple more games, the answer is no. Just so that you know, I have been a KU fan for over 30 years, I've never seen the program this fragile. It's time for rebuilding.

RJ King 2 weeks, 6 days ago

"By getting these transfers he lost Coleby who could have helped us but left."

Allin, when the Lawson brothers transferred in, it was known that they would have to sit out a year. How would their spot on the bench affect Coleby's playing time??? Coleby simply did not transfer because he thought the Lawsons would take his minutes.

"Then (Self) decides to add another recruit with issues." Who, Whitman? Because Preston signed way back in November. (So long ago, it's hard to remember how excited we were to get the 20th ranked player who was also being recruited by Arizona, UCLA, Oregon, Maryland and Indiana).

Maybe you have a crystal ball and you can let Coach Self know who is going to the NBA, and who is not. Who will transfer and who won't.

"This one is on Bill???" It's all on Bill, and he'd be the first to admit it. But recruiting and coaching is not the predictable formula it once was.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Allin, you are way off..Self didn't put KU in this situation...4 big men transferred out, not Selfs fault..and when he had the chance to get the Lawson brothers knowing next season he would need them, he pulled the trigger. There was no way of knowing Bragg would mess up..you act like he was a troubled kid that Self took a chance on!!?..Self didn't miss on the recruiting trail..we had full frontcourt months before the season..by the time the dust settled, all the quality big men were taken..what did you expect him to do, go down to the local CC???..you might be right about DeSousa needing time, but Preston has played all preseason and he has been practicing all year...he could start Saturday and put up at least 15 points with 6-8 rebounds..he is ready to go..he wont need any time to "adjust"

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Self pretty much showed Carlton the door when he did not play him against Oregon. I think they both knew that Carlton was moving on when the season was over.

Coleby was probably a complete surprise. He would have played a major role on this team but maybe when he saw Preston coming in and not getting many minutes his first year, he decided to bolt. It certainly had nothing to do with the incoming transfers.

Whitman? A desperate move by Self. And I can't remember the 4th.

If Preston had been eligible since the beginning, I think we would have been all right in the frontcourt but could have used another legit big.

Robin Smith 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Talent and depth are not the issues.

It's about desire and fortitude. This team is soft.

Craig Alexander 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Exactly. It isn't like Self will play a 10 man rotation. He needs 1 more big that fights for position and rebounds. We have the talent and as soon as we get Preston or Desousa on the court the depth problem is gone. Unless these two make the others a lot tougher then we will still have issues.

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

the issue with this team is they are essentially a team of shooters...Graham is the lone guy that has shown to be effective getting to the rim and finishing..they have talent, but they don't have the pieces..if that makes sense..the have the shooters, they have the beast in the middle, they have the veteran PG to run the show, but they don't have a bench that can produce and they don't have a 2nd big man that can score and help rebound...they are predictable...until they can add Preston, this is what they will be

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I agree but when I look and see Dedrick Lawson, Charlie Moore, KJ Lawson, Billy Preston, and Silvio De Souza sitting on the bench while we struggle with limited players, I can't help but wonder if this wasn't predictable?

Joe Ross 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Malik Newman has been disappointing to me. Expected so much more out of him. Wow.

It's not just that Kansas is LOSING, but we're losing at HOME and in the Sprint Center. For REAL, for real?

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

I'm concerned that all the losses have been by double digits..like the last 4 minutes of these games the outcome was already decided...if they were all by 5 points or less then Id say they just had an off night, but 10+ point losses twice at home is ridiculous

Bryce Landon 2 weeks, 5 days ago

It's worse than ridiculous, Craig; it's intolerable - or at least it should be.

And yes, Joe, Malik Newman is the biggest underachiever on this team. I cringe every time the ball is in his hands.

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I would agree with you Joe. Perhaps we all expected too much out of Newman, but he really has not lived up to the hype that came with him. No fault of his I don't think, just too high on the expectation side of it.

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I'm still hoping that Newman can put his game together in the near future but I expected a lot more by now also. I was ready for the Malic Newman we had spent so much time recruiting.

Brian Skelly 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Agreed on Newman. Considering he was considered one of the best guards in the country when he came out of HS, he's been a disaster when compared to expectations. Now, maybe those expectations arent fair, but in reality I cant recall a KU transfer like this where what we thought we were getting are so far removed from what we've really gotten. Frustrating for sure.

Bob Thompson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I am sure most of you remember Perry Ellis. But do you remember when during his freshman year he finally started playing up to his potential... It was in the big 12 tournament. Newman reminds me of Perry. I know they don't play the same position, but Newman will figure it out, it just takes some players longer than others. I trust coach Self. Do I think we will take the big 12 .... no..... but I think we will come around by March playing our best basketball.

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Ellis was a Freshman, Newman is a Junior (redshirt Soph). Not saying Newman can't turn it around but I don't think the comparison is valid.

Steve Johnson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

How about the fact the coaching staff has done a poor job recruiting. When TT has 10 guys that are interchangeable, our first guy off the bench Lightfoot, wouldn't see any time on another team. He is a nice young man and its not his fault but he is no big guy and should be a practice team player. Newman is out of control and looks terrible most nights, Garret cant shoot but at least hustles, Svi is slow on defense and is only good if his shots fall, Vick and Graham are true starters and are very good but they are not Frank mason, Big Dok is only good at dunking. He is bad on defense and does not have basketball IQ as he is moping around and seems to be gasping for air at all times. This team is in trouble. Not chance of winning the Big 12 nor getting a favorable seed in the tournament.

Brett Arnberger 2 weeks, 5 days ago

I'm as bummed as anyone in regards to how this season has played out thus far: the Preston situation and again waiting on the NCAA to clear yet another Freshman, the lack of urgency and toughness, etc...

Why I am not overly confident in continuing 'The Streak', the bigger picture in college basketball is March. As fans, we all know the streak is great but when we are #1 & #2 seeds and never/rarely finish the deal, that's all we hear about. My hope is that Preston and De Sousa can get cleared in the next couple weeks, get integrated into the lineup, bring some toughness and renewed passion to this team, as well as fresh legs, and get ready to make a run in February & March.

As GREAT as the streak has been, I think we as KU fans get caught up in continuing the streak and March Madness has almost become 2nd fiddle somehow. I know I think about the streak first when thinking of KU Bball. Maybe it coming to an end wouldn't be the worst thing in the world and we can get back to being more focused on the END goal - a Nat'l Championship. We don't have to win the league to win it all. We are spoiled in the sense that we've won so many years it's just expected. When Roy was here, we'd go through these types of ups and downs every couple years. I remember being 6/8/9/10 seeds a few years with Roy. Bill's never had a seeding worse than a #4 or #5 since being at KU. The sky isn't falling because of one down year. We're spoiled! Let's get over ourselves, cheer on this team and staff, and who knows...they just might surprise us in the end.

Bob Thompson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

If I remember right, when KU won the NC in '88 we had 10 losses. We have a lot to look forward to.... it is going to be a roller coaster ride for sure....

Tom Jones 2 weeks, 5 days ago

"I know I think about the streak first when thinking of KU Bball. Maybe it coming to an end wouldn't be the worst thing in the world and we can get back to being more focused on the END goal - a Nat'l Championship."

Who cares what the fans are focused on? Self would toss half of the streak in the trash for another national championship, guaranteed.

Brett Arnberger 2 weeks, 5 days ago

First off - I'm talking to the fans - not Bill Self. I'm guessing he isn't going to read my post.

But if you want to go there.....

The year we won in 2008, if you watch the documentary of that season, he himself puts a lot of stress on winning the conference. He even says on camera, "How can we be the best in the country if we aren't even the best in our own league?" They even changed their end of practice huddle to Big 12 Champs instead of Nat'l Champs.

I'm sure he'd rather have two, three, or more Nat'l championship banners hanging. What sane coach wouldn't. To insinuate that my comment suggests otherwise, ....okay......?

Tom Jones 2 weeks, 4 days ago

Meh...you could have just stopped with my question, then. Who cares what the fans are "focused on"? How does that affect...anything? And if you really think the fans on the whole aren't focused on the big prize as much as they are on winning the league...I don't know what to tell you. It appears that you're one of these kind of fans, but they are rare. The league comes chronologically first. Maybe that's why you don't think big picture? (shrugs)

Self takes pride in winning the league. So does every other coach in America.

RJ King 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Roy never had a 9 or 10 seed. His lowest was an 8 seed in 1999/00 which was the freshman year for Collison, Hinrich and Gooden (Boshee a sophomore). Williams seedings for the NCAA are as follows starting with 1989/90:

2, 3, 1, 2, 4, 1, 2, 1, 1, 6, 8, 4, 1, 2

And (to the Self detractors) we also lost to PLENTY of lower seeds to end our tournament runs during those years.

Adrian Meneses 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Sorry Yonatan I have respectfully disagree with not your assessment of our teams shortcomings, cause like you said it’s obvious, but with your response to calling it a “wash”(*) season. I too am not satisfied with our team for the obvious reasons we all know, but sometimes failure can be the best Teacher at times. We have been blessed to watch our team be so successful to the point that it’s almost a fault. You think this situation is easy for these kids, not knowing when Billy or Silvio will play not to mention thinking about how the team could much better if they could. It seems until we get closure that this realistically & unfortunately is weighing on the minds/moral of the team, which may I add is out of our control. So now the question I ask you, Yonatan, what is your definition of a “wash” season? Is it losing 10+ games a year like say 11 games...I agree that’s a strong possibility. Is it not winning and dominating our conference, I agree that some point in the our lifetime that they won’t win the conference & this season unfortunately might be it? So be honest with your self when you answer those 2 ?’s in particular, cause hate to say if you answered Yes to them, let me say I just described our 1988 NCAA Championship Team. Yes this team is not developing at the usual rate we are accustomed too, but sometimes a different unknown path will still lead you to where you want to end up! These are the times when character is more transparent and I am a huge believer in Self building character in his young men. In that belief I still hope for the best...like I having been telling those around me, I would take a Championship Banner over a Conference one all day everyday. RCJH 365 days a year no matter, I can be frustrated, disappointed, disgusted, and unsatisfied with this team but I will never quit supporting KU by all ways supporting Kansas University thru the Good and the Bad!!

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 5 days ago

My definition of a wash season is acknowledging this is not a very good Kansas team and not to expect a whole lot from. Which I don't plan the rest of this season. Nor will I invest the mental anguish and stress watching this team. Historically, the Kansas teams I've watched throughout the years competed and fought back, I don't see that with this team. No, I don't think this team has a chance of winning the league unless things change drastically. Hopefully, you can appreciate, understand and respect that. To be candid, I am more excited about our situations next season, how could you not be? Have you seen the load of recruits coming in next season? Although a long shot, imagine, adding Preston and Vick to next years roster. If that were to happen, I think we would be a legitimate national championship contender.

Nonetheless, I plan to continue watching and cheering to the Jayhawks. I have for the past 30 years, that won't change only change is my expectation will be mild this season.

Bob Bailey 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Newman is a drag this year. And Svi is too slow on the uptake. Missed 5 shots the second half, and turned the ball over 5 times. My problem is that we stick with the same 6 guys way too long!

Marius Rowlanski 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Time for Cunliffe to start logging more minutes. I don't get the disconnect.

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Next seasons team is loaded, folks. Although, highly unlikely to happen, imagine getting Preston and Vick back next season. Adding those two to next year's roster, I really believe we could be a national championship contender. Let's weather the storm this season, let's hope for the best

2018 – 2019 Roster 1. Quentin Grimes 2. David McCormack 3. Devon Dotson 4. Dedric Lawson 5. Marcus Garrett 6. Sam Cunliffe 7. Charlie Moore 8. KJ Lawson 9. Silvio De Sousa 10. Udoka Azubuike 11. Mitch Lightfoot – Could end up transferring after this season 12. Romeo Langford – Strong possibility he ends up at KU

Non-scholarship returning players: 1. Clay Young 2. Chris Teahan 3. James Sosinski

Long Shot To Return: 1. Malik Newman (possible transfer or goes pro) 2. Billy Preston (NBA second round or goes oversees) 3. Lagerald Vick (Could go pro or could return for 4th year)

Graduating Players 1. Denote Graham 2. Svi Mykhailuk

Craig Carson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Vick should come back, he has a good jump shot but his handles are extremely shaky...Preston wont be back,,after what he has been though, I wouldn't come back if I were him..Azibuike should come back..he has improved but he is still raw with limited post moves..Lightfoot will probably stay (we need someone to celebrate on senior day) Newman is still unknown..if he returns he might not play but if he transfers he will have to wait another..that would end his NBA dream

Kent Richardson 2 weeks, 5 days ago

We are all getting so real. I don't know how this season will play out but it's probably not going to be #14. We will be better in February but who knows how much.

DeVonte is the lead guard for only 13 or so games. He is not completely in charge yet and will get closer as we go forward. Liking his moves to the rim in the TTU game. Upside is still in play.

Svi is better than last year but his shooting is really more streaky but who replaces his offense? He is not able to guard athletic SF's let alone PF's. He has effectively stopped going inside and just hangs behind the arc. How much will he benefit from having two bigs in the lineup? Probably some but his playing time will drop.

Vick is hard to figure out. His is a shooting guard period. He has an outstanding stroke and serious hops. He really misses our former fast break game. When he goes to planet Lagerald it hurts us but who can replace his scoring? His head and heart are not in his defensive play. He would benefit from playing with two bigs but his PT will suffer some also.

Udoka is big body but doesn't play like it all the time. His moves on offense lead to off balance shots and are not fooling anyone. I think he is hurt and can't muscle to the basket like he did in the second half of the Texas game. He is not an instinctive player and doesn't anticipate or react quickly and his hands are suspect. He may be pretty good by March and will benefit a ton with another big in the lineup.

Malik is just not that good? He shows flashes but they are far apart it seems. He is a decent ball handler and better than Vick and Svi at that. He can spell DeVonte and actually looks better when he is at point. Not a reliable shooter but can go to the basket when he decides to. Next year for him I think.

Bench is inexperienced and it shows. Not much reliable defense except for Garrett who can rebound, steal and finish on drives. I think Cunliffe may be pretty good with more reps but not yet. I can see both of them being tough guys. Marcus now and Sam later in the season. Would you play them more or keep thinking Vick and Svi will get better? Playing two bigs hurts Sam and Marcus a lot I would opine.

I want to say we are a middle of the road team with no identity to hang our hat on but I am too perplexed to feel confident in trending down or looking up. I can see some possible beat down losses in our future and also some games where we can get to the rim along with some nasty outside shooting. But how many each way?

Yonatan Negash 2 weeks, 4 days ago

I would trade 13 leagues championship for 3 national championships, any day.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed watching us dominate the Big 12 the past 13 seasons.

Unfortunately, that's only produced 1 national championship.

Hypothetically, speaking if I had a choice to trade 13 league championships for 3 national championships, I would, plain and simple. I certainly would.

Brian Skelly 2 weeks, 4 days ago

By KU standards, we're just not very good.    We'll still get a decent seed -- maybe -- and go to the tournament.    We dont defend as if that matters at all though.    Part of its depth, part of its personnel.   
I'd point out we ran off Coleby and Whitman for no reason other than we thought we'd fill the roster with more McDonald's All-Americans.    Which is great, except for when they drive around in cars owned and titled by a non-family member.    
I still trust Self's judgement implicitly in these matters,  but have you noticed we have to deal with this to some degree virtually every year now?    One and dones may theoretically increase our odds at an NCAA Title,  but that hasn't come real close to fruition anytime recently, has it?
While some folks take issue with Yonatan's take,  I'd agree this team isnt worth pouring yourself into to the level that past teams have.   Way to many holes, especially on defense.   It's just not the stuff championship teams are made of.

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