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This will be my last post as well. I have a facebook account, but I am phasing it out, as it has been the source of too many disputes and trouble in the past. I don't plan on getting a new one.

I don't think this will bring about the demise of KUsports.com. I do think the comments sections will dwindle quite a bit. I like being able to hop on here and just talk sports with Jayhawk fans all over the country without knowing if I am talking to someone that is a CEO or a janitor. These comments sections have been a great place for KU fans young and old to meet and discuss, disagree, rant, celebrate, complain, criticize, cheer, and dream. It's unfortunate that bad behavior on the part of some will bring this to an end.

I've gotten into my share of disagreements on this board, but I can honestly say that I don't feel like I was ever personally attacked, and I hope that no one here feels that I ever personally attacked them. If I did, I am sincerely sorry because that is not what these comments sections have ever been about, and that was not my intent.

Here's to seeing some improvement on the football field and, if my hunch is correct, an incredible season for both the men and ladies on the hardwood.

Best to all.

October 9, 2013 at 1:56 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

SG Kelly Oubre commits to Kansas basketball

Everyone knows that KU will sign at least 3 players this recruiting year. I'm betting on four.

Oubre is 1.

Wiggins is a OAD. No #1 ranked recruit in any service has returned for his sophomore season since the OAD era began. I doubt Wiggins becomes the first. That opens up a scholarship.

Selden and Embiid are both moving up draft boards quickly. If either one plays well, they are likely gone.

It looks like Self is trying to blend a team of OAD high talent guys with 3-4 year players. He will always have guys like Perry Ellis, Jamari Traylor, Naadir Tharpe (Releford, Johnson, Withey before them) that stay for four years (or even five). The key is to put enough breakout talent around them to compete for a title.

Wiggins, Selden and Embiid are the breakout talent this year, surrounded by a host of four year players.

Next year Oubre and whomever else signs (Alexander? Okafor?) will be those elite talents surrounded by a junior standout like Perry Ellis and a senior PG like Naadir Tharpe.

This is reloading at its best.

October 9, 2013 at 9:45 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: Jayhawks set at QB for future

I think it would be bad if KU fired Weis after this season because that would mean they would be on their fourth coach in six years, which, from a program standpoint, is terrible.

However, Gill was only given two years to turn the program around (and failed at that mission). I believe Gill was under the impression that he would have time, as he focused his recruiting efforts on high school talent rather than lots of jucos. Still, the fact that he got only two years even though he was recruiting with the future in mind is telling.

Weis is not doing that. I think this is because Weis doesn't plan on sticking around beyond next season if things don't start turning around. He would likely resign his post if KU doesn't win 5-7 games next year.

That was my criticism of the hire initially. If KU doesn't turn around, Weis has no reason to stay and grind it out. If KU does turn around, Weis takes the next big time job (NFL, college, whatever). Either way, Weis likely wasn't going to stay beyond 5 years. That's no way to build a program.

October 9, 2013 at 9:21 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Breakdown: Crazy? Yes. But KU fake punt 'definitely had a chance' if blocked correctly

If this was a call from the sidelines, why did it appear that the personal protectors didn't know the fake was on?

If this was a read, again, why wasn't there a cadence to alert everyone that the fake was on?

That's not an execution error, that's a coaching mistake. The call has to be clear - the read should be clear. From Weis' comments, the situation wasn't what they had discussed for the auto read to put the fake on. To me, that sounds like the personal protectors saw the alignment, knew that it wasn't the situation that they had gone over to run the fake, and thought the punt was on. Once Pardula took off, they tried to get going, but by then they were out of position.

If a fake is on, everyone that has to execute a block needs to know that they have to execute. Here, they didn't know, so they couldn't execute. That's not on the players.

October 8, 2013 at 11:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Brannen Greene: Kansas players ‘get along great’

Let's remember that shooting percentage, while great, doesn't present a full picture. For example, Brady was a good 3pt shooter, but a lot of the 3's he took were wide open shots because the defense was rotated away from him.

For Rush and Chalmers, they both took a lot more challenged 3's because they were counted on for scoring, so the degree of difficulty on their shots was higher.

Tyrel falls somewhere in between. Towards the end of his career, we really depended on his shooting, but defenses also knew that and matched up accordingly.

With this year's team, I think we could see whichever shooter gets the opportunity shoot a very high percentage (mid to upper 40s) because the defense will be rotated around to Selden, Wiggins, Ellis, etc. Those marginally better looks will help the percentage tick up just a bit because they are all great shooters and those open looks will get converted.

Once the defense starts rotating around to them as shooters, their passing skills will come into play, which is where the size of White and Greene may become important. Frankamp will have to be smart with the ball and make sure he's rotating it quickly before bigger guys can cut off his passing and vision lanes.

October 1, 2013 at 9:54 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Self: Newcomers’ talents impressive

True,

As our own KU team proved last year, you cannot succeed if you have only one legitimate primary ball handler on the roster. That means that Mason is not even a redshirt candidate at this point because he is the second primary ball handler, this according to Self's own comments during this offseason. Unless you believe Tharpe will play 37+ mpg this season, Mason will not be redshirting.

September 26, 2013 at 5:38 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: 7-footer Embiid rare talent among Kansas big men

I'm not suggesting that Embiid is Aldrich or Henry or the Morris twins, or Robinson. The key is what a player can become.

Let's take Brandon Rush for example. Everyone hoped that Rush would become a dominant scorer. Unfortunately, that's just not Brandon's game. He's a shooter more than anything. That didn't change in three years at KU, and his NBA career has followed that path. Unfortunately, his career has also been plagued by injury, but unless Rush had become a premier perimeter scorer, his ultimate value at the next level remains unchanged.

As another example, let's look at Thomas Robinson. In college he developed from being just a rebounder to a player that could handle the ball, rebound and shoot a little bit. Unfortunately, he's not going to be a primary, or even secondary scorer in the NBA. His offensive talent isn't on that level. Another year at KU would not have made him into a Tim Duncan, or even an Elton Brand. Therefore, his value at the next level would not have increased had he stayed for his senior year.

What does this have to do with Embiid? Well, the question is going to be whether Embiid can become a legitimate low post threat in the vein of Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, etc. If the answer is yes, he should stay at KU and develop that. If the answer is no, then he goes to the next question.

Can Embiid become a dominant low post defender like Tyson Chandler? If the answer to that is also no, then Embiid is in a position where his ceiling is solid starting center, but not a star in the NBA. That will keep him around, but it won't net him huge contracts.

Jacque Vaughn was supposedly going to be a lottery pick after his junior year in college. He stayed, got drafted late in the first round and proceeded to have a solid career as a backup PG. However, the difference in salary from being a lottery pick to being a backup probably cost him a couple million dollars.

Most college players will NEVER EVER be NBA stars. That big payday is never coming. However, if they land a good rookie deal from the lottery, they can bank a pretty decent chunk before a team has to decide whether to sign them to a second deal, which is why its always smart to go if you're a lottery pick.

September 26, 2013 at 5:20 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: 7-footer Embiid rare talent among Kansas big men

This is assuming that these players would have excelled at the NBA level had they stayed an extra year.

Take Henry. Would another year (or two or three) at KU have kept him healthier during his NBA career? If not, he probably banked more money by jumping.

Or Aldrich. Would another year at KU have made him a high level scorer at the NBA level? If not, he gains nothing from an extra year at KU.

Those guys were lottery picks and therefore correct to jump, unless they could be a top 5 pick by staying.

September 26, 2013 at 1:46 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Self: Newcomers’ talents impressive

Let's play guess the redshirt game. First, let's eliminate guys who can't/ won't redshirt.

The guys that have already redshirted (and thus, cannot do so again)
Lucas, Traylor, Wesley

The freshmen who are too good to redshirt
Embiid, Selden, Wiggins

Likely starters (also too good to redshirt)
Ellis, Tharpe

Seniors
Black

Guys that wouldn't benefit the program with the extra year (coach's sons)
Manning, Roberts, Self

Walkons
Garrett

Already sitting out
Mickelson

That leaves exactly 4 players - Conner Frankamp, Brannen Greene, Frank Mason, Andrew White III.

Looking first at team needs, only one player listed above is a point guard, so one of the players that WILL NOT redshirt will play PG. That makes it slightly more likely that Greene and White get the redshirts, particularly if they don't make the rotation. Shooting is ALWAYS a valuable resource, and there are three guys with reputations as great shooters in Frankamp, Greene and White. At least one of that group WILL NOT redshirt.

So now on to Self's comments to see what he's thinking. Every time Self talks about the PG situation he mentions three players, usually in this order - Tharpe, Mason and Selden as the "emergency PG." He doesn't talk about Frankamp when he discusses the PG situation, so my take is this means that Frankamp will not be the backup PG. Since there has to be a backup PG (not just an emergency PG) Mason will not redshirt this year (barring injury).

Self has declared that Frankamp is the "best shooter" of the remaining guys, but has expressed some concern about him getting his shot off in college. Greene and White have both been touted as talented shooters, but not on Frankamp's level. They are both bigger guys though (6-6, 6-7) so that gives them a bit of an edge in getting shots off, and in being able to defend different players on the wing.

My guess is that Self will give all three the option to redshirt if they feel that is best for them, but would not want more than 2 to actually pursue the redshirt option because you want to be able to dial up a shooter if a defense decides to pack it in. Personally, I think this means White will probably be the last man in the perimeter rotation, with Frankamp and Greene pondering redshirts, although only Greene will probably ultimately take one.

September 26, 2013 at 9:49 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Opinion: 7-footer Embiid rare talent among Kansas big men

I think Embiid plays quite a bit this year, actually. This KU team is perfectly suited for him, in all honesty.

Think about it. The most difficult thing to learn in basketball is offense. That's the skillset that takes the most practice to develop. The dribbling, footwork, ball handling, shooting touch, that all takes a lot of time to develop in a way that is useful in live game action. JoJo hasn't had that time. Fortunately, his soccer and volleyball background gives him an edge on footwork. Unfortunately, his lack of basketball experience hurts him in the shooting, ball handling and passing areas.

Defensively, though, he can be a beast right away. We saw how much the volleyball experience helped Jeff Withey. And JoJo is much more mobile than Withey. Soccer players have to develop a keen sense for angles and the mobility to cover lots of open space. Most basketball big men struggle in space because they were parked in the paint at a very young age and never had to venture very far defensively.

Think about a guy like Anthony Davis. He was a guard for most of his life, then grew 8 inches while in high school. He defends a lot more space than a lot of bigger guys. Same with a guy like Kevin Garnett. He was a guard for a while, then grew and ended up being a PF.

JoJo actually benefits in that respect from taking up basketball much later, because he avoided getting parked in the paint as a 10 year old swatting every shot that came his way, while losing that good footwork development. By developing footwork first, he is a much more versatile defender than he may have otherwise become.

As for the weight and strength, let's remember that Withey wasn't 250 when he graduated, so I think JoJo is already big enough to play here. I would expect that he will be well above average defensively this season, but not very strong offensively. My guess is that he plays a lot with the best three scorers (Selden, Wiggins, Ellis) and doesn't play a lot with the more defensive minded interior players like Black and Traylor. Since Wiggins, Selden and Ellis will likely get the most minutes of anybody, I wouldn't be surprised to see JoJo grab 20 or so mpg.

Also, he appears to be ambidextrous, as he blocks shots with both hands and has both a righty and a lefty jump hook already.

September 26, 2013 at 9:20 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

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