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10 observations from NCAA Tournament leading up to Final Four

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Ten observations from another wild weekend in the NCAA Tournament that produced a most improbable Final Four, featuring No. 3 seed Connecticut, No. 4 Kentucky, No. 8 Butler and No. 11 VCU:

1. jra004 leads the KUsports.com bracket challenge with one weekend left. It appears no one predicted more than two correct Final Four teams in the challenge. The contest was wide open this year as a result of the parity that took over the tournament.

2. Speaking of parity ... Butler and VCU, really? Both remarkable stories. It proves that pre-tournament analysis and all those television shows we love to watch that break down each region on Selection Sunday are pointless. They just make for interesting conversation and friendly debating. This is the first time in the history of the tournament that neither a No. 1 nor a No. 2 seed will participate in the Final Four.

3. I feel for the Kansas fans who looked forward to the tournament all year, only to feel disappointment in losing to another mid-major in March. VCU joined Bucknell, Bradley and Northern Iowa on the list of mid-majors that have recently taken out KU in the NCAAs. The frustration is both visible and understandable.

Taking out all those frustrations on coach Bill Self, however, is completely absurd. Self did not shoot 2-for-21 from three-point range, nor did he only convert 15 of 28 free throws on Sunday against VCU. And spare me the "he should work on free throws more in practice" rebuttal. KU practices are closed to the public. No one knows how many they actually shoot aside from the players and coaches themselves. Considering KU is a combined 68-6 in the past two seasons, who is anyone to question the team's practice routine? Self will and should be on the KU sidelines for as long as he desires.

I'm not a big fan of the 2008 argument either. It goes something like this: If not for KU's national title in 2008, Self would be mocked and his job would be in jeopardy. Well, uh ... he still did win a national title in 2008, and that was just three years ago. He has three appearances with KU in the Elite Eight.

My one question for those who don't think Self is right for KU: Who would be better?

Answer: No one.

Rant over.

4. The Self situation is somewhat similar to Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, who, like Self, has lost his fair share of postseason games despite having a wildly successful overall record.

Stoops had suffered five straight BCS bowl defeats before winning the Fiesta Bowl this past season. But he also owns seven Big 12 championships and one national title.

Self owns seven straight regular-season league titles, five Big 12 tournament titles and one national title. But the unfortunate reality for these coaches is that the last game of the season is the one that's remembered most. For Stoops, much of the time, it's Boise State's miracle in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. For Self, much of the time, it will be VCU.

Stuff happens, though, especially in postseason college basketball, where, as Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan recently pointed out, the playing field is becoming more and more even. It's not like VCU took down Kansas in the first round. It was the Elite Eight. VCU did the same thing to USC, Georgetown, Purdue and Florida State. The Rams are hot at the right time, one of the most basic products of March Madness stunners. As unfortunate a loss as it was for KU fans, it doesn't mean Self isn't the right coach for the foreseeable future.

5. A large reason KU fell to VCU was due to its inability to hit outside shots.

The Jayhawks were just 4-of-30 from outside the paint on Sunday. Think about that for a second. OK, maybe don't, because it's probably too painful to mull over any more. But KU needs someone who can consistently knock down outside shots next year.

6. KU's lack of bench production greatly affected the outcome on Sunday. The Jayhawks' bench scored only three points against VCU. Thomas Robinson, KU's sixth man, didn't score and was plagued by three fouls. Against Richmond in the Sweet 16, for example, the KU bench erupted for 31 points, and Robinson had 12 points and 14 boards. KU won that game, 77-57.

7. If you told me before I filled out my bracket that a team from last year's Final Four would return again this year, I would have immediately picked Duke to win it all. What Butler accomplished is incredible, especially since the Bulldogs had such close calls against Old Dominion and Pittsburgh. They could have easily been knocked out of the first round by ODU.

8. Most impressive player of tournament: All due respect to Kemba Walker of UConn, I'm going with Derrick Williams of Arizona. The guy flat-out destroyed Duke's interior defense, and I didn't think that could be done by one player. Williams, who poured in 32 points and grabbed 13 boards against the Blue Devils, provided an incredible show each time Arizona took the floor in this year's NCAAs. The Wildcats had a rigorous road, but it made for exciting drama against Memphis, Texas, Duke and UConn.

9. If you could have a do-over, who will win the national title, now that the Final Four is set? I'm tempted to go with VCU, but I'll be boring and go with UConn.

10. Speaking of UConn ... Thank you, Huskies, for proving once and for all that the fatigue argument has no merit. I'm as guilty as anyone on this issue. I had UConn getting bounced in the Sweet 16 because, I reasoned, it played five games in five days a week before in the Big East tournament. But recent momentum outweighed any questions of fatigue with UConn and Kentucky, which won the SEC tournament.

That should be all for now, friends. As always, discuss.

Comments

hawkitup 9 years, 2 months ago

Thank you for exposing the ridiculous arguments made by other posters regarding Bill Self's coaching job. The Bob Stoops example was great.

JHawksfan23 9 years, 2 months ago

Agreed any idiot who thinks Self is a failure for he track record of mishaps in the tournament is well... an idiot because KU has the most tournament wins in the last 25 years, has won the league 7 straight times, has won the league tournament several times, has produced numerous NBA players, and has recruited two #1 recruits each of the last two years. If Self was not our coach it is hard telling where KU would be right now, but I can nearly guarantee they would not be as successful as they currently are. And to all of the bandwagon KU fans who are jumping off after the loss: STAY OFF THE BANDWAGON because no one wants the negativity after a tough loss. RCJH

Brett Gaul 9 years, 2 months ago

Good read. There is no way anyone should be questioning Self. You can't win too many games when you shoot 52% from the FT stripe. Great season. We will be back.

lmloopy 9 years, 2 months ago

Bill Self has "class" period. I was not a Bill Self fan before he came to KU from the Big Ten, but after reading about who he is, what he stands for, his past and present accomplishments, who can doubt his ability to lead his players to another NCAA championship. More likely sooner than later! When you are leading your team, remember we are talking about a team of young college players, not professionals, to a goal, no matter what that goal is, and you deal with what this team dealt with, how can anyone question his abiltiy to lead? When you take time out from you appointed destination and focus from your desired goal you risk the chance of losing focus and not getting back on track. Bill Self is a humanitarian. What other coach would take time out of his appointed goal to take his whole team to one of his players mothers funeral during the middle of the season? My dad die when I was a senior playing baskertball and I my coach sent flowers. Bill Self sends his whole team! Go Bill Self! Go for as long as you have the drive in you.

kesmithstl1 9 years, 2 months ago

good stuff! I've heard it said a million times, that the sign of a good team/program is how well it does against its conference! No team in the country is better than KU in that regard. To win the tourney requires more luck than skill! Especially in a year like this in which there was no "great" team.

All those doubters of Self, remember that he didn't only win the Final 4 in 2008, he won it against the best of the best that year (still the only year ever to have all 4 #1 seed reach the FF).

It's tough playing against a team that has nothing to lose! Seriously, a 6'9 guy shooting, and making, 3's is not something you see every day. KU has ran into 2 of them in the past 2 years (that big Leperchan at UNI, and Skeen of VCU). VCU did not make 12 3's in a game all year long. They have done it 3 times this tourney. That's not Self's fault! It's not the players fault. It's VCU's fault for playing hot and unconscious!

AirCapJay 9 years, 2 months ago

You can't make 3's if you are bent over pulling your shorts. From the get go, Self should have pressed harder and more often and wore the VCU players out. We had the bench to do that.

kesmithstl1 9 years, 2 months ago

good stuff! I've heard it said a million times, that the sign of a good team/program is how well it does against its conference! No team in the country is better than KU in that regard. To win the tourney requires more luck than skill! Especially in a year like this in which there was no "great" team.

All those doubters of Self, remember that he didn't only win the Final 4 in 2008, he won it against the best of the best that year (still the only year ever to have all 4 #1 seed reach the FF).

It's tough playing against a team that has nothing to lose! Seriously, a 6'9 guy shooting, and making, 3's is not something you see every day. KU has ran into 2 of them in the past 2 years (that big Leperchan at UNI, and Skeen of VCU). VCU did not make 12 3's in a game all year long. They have done it 3 times this tourney. That's not Self's fault! It's not the players fault. It's VCU's fault for playing hot and unconscious!

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

There were times when players didn't even get hands up on those 3 attempts, and it isn't as if VCU hitting 3's was a novel concept. My guess is that after hitting 12 on 2 other ocassions in the last week, that it was in the scouting report. The same goes for breaking down the press, and a few other "not following the scouting report" items.

The fact that it was such a pervasive malody for the team also indicates to me that it was as much to do with VCU as with the 'Hawks. Coach commented that they were the aggressors, which is as much a head scratcher as any, because being aggressive is so much what Coach Self preaches.

kesmithstl1 9 years, 2 months ago

law of averages! They hadn't hit 12 3's in a game all year long! KU shut down their main threats. It was the other guys that hurt them.

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 2 months ago

You must have looked at the same stats that KU's coaching staff looked at. If you bother to dig into VCU's box scores for all the games this season you would find Skeen to be a consistent three point threat, particularly at the second half of their conference play. They also had more games during the year that they shot the three above 45% than KU could even dream of. What brought their season "average" down was ONE game just before mid season when they shot 7% from the three. Every other game for them was well above 30%. KU on the other hand had FOUR games shooting the three under 20%.

kesmithstl1 9 years, 2 months ago

box scores are overrated! They don't tell the story of how the 3 fell. Skeen could have very well shot the 3 well, but did he do it while front running, or when his team was way behind? Box score doesn't tell you that. I'm sure the KU coaching staff had some film on him that said we dare him to take that shot.

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 2 months ago

You're right, the box score doesn't tell that. But often times the game summary spells out some of those things. In fact, in one of the summaries the Skeen scoring was the result of a previous incident where he indicated the ball needed to get to him more often. It should have been as clear as the nose on ones face that Skeen had become a go-to-player for VCU.

tbedo04 9 years, 2 months ago

Roy's team in '03 had a similar free throw and 3-pointer issue. Two different coaches, same issues. We were unlucky.

AsadZ 9 years, 2 months ago

Very good analysis. I posted below comments in response to a Blog by Fred titled "KU Got What It Deserved" earlier today in which he had blasted KU and HCBS:

  1. There is no # 1 nor # 2 seed left in this year's tourney? VCU is a very good team. They beat Purdue and Georgetown by double digits.

  2. Can anyone name any other coach who has a better winning performance in the last 5 years, both regular season, and post season, than Bill Self?

  3. Can anyone name any other program that has a better winning record in the last 5/6 years, than Kansas?

  4. It is very easy to put comments on paper when someone is down. But tell us as to what is your proposed solution?

  5. Do you want Bill Self to be replaced? If yes, by whom? Tell me a coach which has done a better job in the last 5/6 years? Give me a name?

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 2 months ago

Well, you asked for it.

To # 2, sorry to say John Calipari 244 wins 48 losses and Krzyzewski with 236 wins and 49 losses.

To # 3 Duke.

And to # 5 do you want someone that's been out there a while and realistically might not make the move? Tom Izzo or Mark Few. Or if you prefer an up and comer, Tom Crean.

Lesson: NEVER ask a question you don't know the anser to. You will get burned!

lishku 9 years, 2 months ago

In what ways the last 5-6 years has Few done a better job then Self. I'll go with Izzo as far as final four's, but not in the conference. But seriously, you think Few should lead KU over Bill self?

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 2 months ago

I agree about Few, not better but certainly on par. I just put him in there to counter Izzo as an established coach. I also think Few at Gonzaga compared to Self at Illinois is a good comparison. Face it, Kansas alone regardless of the coach brings certain talented players.

Chicago_JHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

2???

What numbers are you using? That's a helluva lot of games over the past 5 years? It seems they are averaging almost 50 wins per year. Impressive. Are you going out 8 years?

Anyway, over the past 8 seasons, to cover Self's tenure at KU, I have him at 237-46 (.837), Coach K at 237-50 (.826), and Cal at 245-49 (.833), but that drops to 207-49 (.809) with the vacated wins from 2008.

So Self is ahead for #2 and #3.

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 2 months ago

The numbers are cummulitive, two pints for you. But it is the last 5 years that have pushed K's and Squid's wins up, as well as Self's (Roy Williams would be near the top when stretched out to 10 or 15 years). But the question was not qualified to fit your statistics, it was simple, a better winning performance. The only measuring stick I know of is wins/losses.

Cjhawker958 9 years, 2 months ago

Dear Mr. Benedictine:

2 - Last 5 seasons (if we are going by your method of Wins/Losses):

1) Bill Self : 165-21 (88.7%) 2) Mike Krzyzewski : 147-34 (81.2%) 3) Roy Williams : 150-39 (79.3%) ***Calipari would be ahead of Self had it not been for his 2007-08 season being forfeited.

3 - Last 6 seasons --- Not Duke.

  1. Kansas : 190-29 (86.7%)
  2. Duke : 179-38 (82.4%)

5 - TOM CREAN? You've got to be joking, right? You mean the Tom Crean at Indiana that has led the Hoosiers to a staggering 28-66 record over his first three seasons there? And if you're going to suggest Tom Izzo and Mark Few, why not just go ahead and put Coach K and Calipari?

Come on now, you've got to at least try and do SOME research before you make bogus claims. I thought a fellow HAAC graduate would be better than this...very disappointed in your effort.

BCRavenJHawkfan 9 years, 2 months ago

I'll even offer up Greg Marshal if you prefer someone closer to home as an up and comer.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 2 months ago

2 reread the question.

Last 5 years: Kansas 165-21 (ratio; 7.9) Duke 147-34 Calipari 168-23 (170-23 if they win it all, ratio; 7.4)

No one better than Self.

3, Duke? Get real.

5, if you think that Izzo and Few would be better than Bill Self then you've lost your mind. Bill Self is great on the recruiting trail. He's great in front of the media. He has a great academic progress rate and graduation rate. We've had some off-the-court issues, but no serious NCAA violations or anything that is coach's fault. He has brought in the best staff in America. He has a very disciplined team every year. And most of the student athletes who play for Coach Self are better men when they leave the program than they were when they arrived (though coach can't help them make good decisions after they're gone).

CardHawkFan 9 years, 2 months ago

I typically love March Madness, am a Jayhawk all the way, and, when it is all said and done, agree that the winner should be crowned champion as the best team in college basketball. However, in regards to parody, can you honestly say that if VCU or Butler wins the championship, one of those two is the best team in college basketball... the answer is no! If you say yes, then you disregard the entire regular season that many teams survive with a much tougher schedule to get to where they are at. Voters could make a statement if one of those teams wins and still put a deserving team at the top of the final polls. Otherwise, why not just strive for mediocrity for the better part of the season? Just a thought.

gerald_bostock 9 years, 2 months ago

should we get rid of the tournament and just vote on it? our loss to VCU is on nobody but us. ohio state's loss is on them. Duke's loss is on them.

as flawed as a bracket system might be, it's the most logical way to have a post season and crown a single team as national champion. we can't really have a round robin or something like that with all the schools.

quit whining and congratulate the 4 teams that made it and whoever ends up winning. it's not a fluke.

CardHawkFan 9 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the logical argument. I appreciate some reasonable candor. As far as whining goes, you bring up another good point. Unfortunately, when you have been a fan as long as I have been, you have to find ways to make sense of the ridiculousness. Still feel as though my argument is sound, albeit highly illogical and may only exist in a vacuum.

AirCapJay 9 years, 2 months ago

The bad thing is, that if VCU wins the NCAA National Championship, the final rankings will come out the VCU #1. Simple as that. The body of the season does not seem to matter as much as winning the National Championship.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 2 months ago

"strive for mediocrity"? What planet (couch) are you on? The notion that because VCU, Butler, ... hasn't had as much success as a top seed, that somehow they have not tried as hard to get better is ignorant and an insult to every athlete that has ever trained and compete.

As for the question whether anyone thinks another teams is the best or not is completely irrelevant. The beauty of NCAA BB is that it doesn't matter what you or anyone else (besides the selection committee) thinks. One of the final 4 will be the Champion. And they'll deserve to be.

CardHawkFan 9 years, 2 months ago

As far as the couch comment, I can almost undoubtedly promise you that I spend more time off the couch than you do. Do not be upset because your little league team cut you. So as to striving for mediocrity, the statement was meant more as an vent of frustration due to the fact that we had several players who played hurt or injured all season long and were night in and night out one of the top teams in the country. If the regular season becomes irrelevant, as these situations make it seem sometimes, why not rest players who then could be healthy. I get why you play through pain and I get leaving it all on the floor/field...trust me. But, say if we had double digits in the loss column and eeked into the tourney, and somehow managed to win it all, would we be the best team in college basketball? I would be happy, but would still understand the argument as to why we wouldn't be.

Jayhawk444 9 years, 2 months ago

I'm inclined to agree here. When bracketology comes out in December and talking heads can't do anything but talk about how this game or that game in January will be viewed by the selection committee, and nobody gives a rip about conference championships because it's all about how you do in the tournament, coaches/teams should simply accept this and forget about pretending the regular season means anything at all. The NCAA tournament may be the sporting world's biggest spectacle, but it comes with the price of a largely meaningless regular season. People clamoring for a football playoff should pay attention to what happens in basketball. Football may not have a grand playoff...but teams play regular season games like they mean something because they do.

im4indiana 9 years, 2 months ago

A blind man could have shot better then 2-21 from the 3 point line. That was one of the most embarrassing displays of shooting one has ever had to witness in a NCAA championship game. Congrats on an outstanding year. Just seems like KU gets to where they think they'll make a run and the wheels come off...

AsadZ 9 years, 2 months ago

I got a kick out of your post. By your name I am concluding that you are an Indiana Fan? You probably feel good about KU losing. But hey loser,

How may Big 10 championships/ National Championships has Indiana won in the last 10 years?

What is your record?

You are a total loser.

Kent Wells 9 years, 2 months ago

I am wondering if Tyrell's foot in 2011 is a lot like Jerod's wrist in 1997. Both required after season surgeries. Much like 1997, I think a healthy Haase would have made a huge difference - it seems like a healthy Reed would have canned a few of those threes and made for a much more interesting game against VCU...

kusayzone 9 years, 2 months ago

There have been many cockroaches coming out of the woodwork to chew on what remains of the KU basketball season. I know one thing....KU will be back.....we will see about VCU. We will never be a Cinderella----Jayhawks will never wear a dress!

gerald_bostock 9 years, 2 months ago

i don't get the fatigue argument either. what, is kemba just going to give up now because he's tired? oh but he carried the team all year! who cares? he's not just going to get tired and quit right before the finish line. kemba takes the huskies past butler in the final game.

Kevin Crook 9 years, 2 months ago

Bill Self is the best in the business, period. I loved him when he out-coached Roy both times when he was at Illinois, even though KU had way more talent the 2nd year and beat Illinois, and I love him more now. ONLY ONE TEAM IS HAPPY AT THE END OF THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON. Unless of course you are a K-stater or from Nebraska and take pride in just getting to the tournament... When you are from an elite program you have high hopes and great expectations. The odds are not in your favor that your program will be the lucky one that gets it all right at exactly the right time and wins six in a row. I hope Bill Self coaches at KU until he is 70 and wants to retire to his favorite fishing hole.

rsportydog 9 years, 2 months ago

KU has an historic basketball program. I have watched them play under coach Williams and coach Self, both excellent basketball tutors and mentors of young men. Their records need no defense, but to whine about how Kansas keeps getting beat by "lesser teams" from outside the Big 12 at Tournament time is to forget that when you are a top team every year, you are far more likely to encounter these setbacks than if you are, say, VCU. With the current exception of Butler, lesser programs only get to play Cinderella and that role comes rarely if at all. Sure I wish we had gone further, but it was only a few months ago that I wondered if the team would gel after the losses of Aldrich, Collins and Henry. Then there were the injuries, and the Robinson tragedies. I believe that this team lost because of emotional and psychological issues: theirs and VCU's. They will be discussed and dealt with by coach Self, his staff, and his players. Everyone will learn and grow. Brady and Tyrel have their championship rings. I hope the rest of the team returns because if they do, it will be yet another historic year for KU. RCJH.

Jayhawk444 9 years, 2 months ago

You are correct. KSU and MU fans don't have to worry about being knocked out of the tournament before the Final Four as a #1 seed because they will never be in that position. It happens to KU more because they put themselves in that position more. KSU and MU will never be the first #1 seed to lose to #16, but KU might. And I think they would trade places with us any time.

bushwood 9 years, 2 months ago

KU had a great season. Maybe the twins and Robinson will return. Who would have thought VCU would not have run out of gas in the second half. It is the year of the little conferences to show that they belong. Brady and Tyrel will be hard to replace as we will need a solid outside shooter.

benshawks08 9 years, 2 months ago

I thought the same thing about Selby until I looked at the box score and realized he played 15 minutes, went 1-5, and 0-3 from three. Pretty telling that a guy with the most minutes off the bench that game seemed like he wasn't out there very much. He clearly wasn't very effective or his numbers would have been better and we both would have noticed his presence. To me it seemed like Self had the same idea you did. Maybe since nothing is working Selby will get hot and finally carry this team like he is capable of. He tried for 15 minutes and it never worked.

Now it is definitely questionable that Selby was the only bench player to get double digit minutes in a game that was up and down and when our perimeter players were missing shots (dead legs?). This has been a trend with Self for a while and I am not smart enough to say it is good or bad. When the going gets tough in games Self sticks with his starters, especially in the tournament.

All year Brady and Tyrell have been our most consistent outside shooters (1st and 3rd in the conference in 3%) so there is clear justification for leaving them in on a day when we were getting lots of open looks from three. They just didn't make them. Were they tired? Maybe. Would the bench players have made those shots? Maybe (but Selby didn't). The thing is that Self knows these players way better than any of us do and therefore is the better judge of what the best strategy is. Maybe Releford was hurt more than we know. Maybe Brady and Tyrell weren't really tired they just missed shots. Maybe from what he saw the bench was completely ineffective so he thought it best to stick with the most consistent bunch. We don't know. We won't know. We will still win 30 games next year.

RockCaCO3 9 years, 2 months ago

Good read Eric. Thanks for calling out the Self bashers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 2 months ago

Bottomline-- a single-elimation tournament doesn't determine which team is "best." It merely rewards the teams that get hot, or in the case of VCU-Kansas, the team that is lucky enough to catch a clearly superior team on a really horrible shooting night. If KU shot even marginally better, and not even up to their season's averages, they win that game.

But it would take the adoption of an NBA-style playoff to really determine the best team (and even that doesn't totally eliminate luck,) and I don't think anybody would want that.

KUbsee69 9 years, 2 months ago

I would. There are too many teams in the tournament. Drop it to 32, or even 16, and do the round-robin ... like the Olympics & NBA.

Let's make it about good BB and not NCAA profit!

ku_foaf 9 years, 2 months ago

Well said. Some KU fans are just plain spoiled. The coach and team give them seasons 99% of all colleges in the country would give anything to have, and they complain. We are all disappointed when KU loses, that doesn't mean you should bash the team or the coach.

To another fantastic season!

jaybate 9 years, 2 months ago

VCU's hyper conditioning is the next killer app.

I never want to see KU's players bent over at ten minutes in again.

HawksWin 9 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if VCU may be taking something. They remind me of gnats or T-1000 that just won't go away. Do we have drug tests for college athletes? Yes, VCU hyper conditioning may be the next killer app, but soon or later, body has to give, right? I'll be tuning in to watch VCU players falling flat & snoozing against Butler.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 2 months ago

Great point... I was at the game in the 3rd row and have never seen KU so gassed this year. I don't think we subbed as much as usual, but neither did VCU. I think some of it was our intensity on defense in the second half. Despite maybe 2 possessions, we played awesome D in the second half. I think tired legs made us miss shots in the second half.

One other side point... I thought the KU crowd in San Antonio was incredibly loud at the VCU game... Nice job Jayhawks.

Also.. Am I the only one who thinks VCU is not that good? I think they are incredibly lucky (which sometimes is better than good, obviously).

Please twins, don't go 'develop' on the bench in the NBA (see Cole, X, Sherron, etc). The money will wait...... one more year please! There is no FOE in the NBA

LJ Gee 9 years, 2 months ago

Man, I love Bill Self and KU as much as anyone, but the rose colored glasses are on in this blog big time. I agree that poor shooting was a major problem and that doesnt have much to do with Self, but he got outcoached in that game. Every time they put their smaller line up out there and switched to a full court press, we had no answer for it. When they went bigger and played half court, we made runs. But every time we got within striking distance, VCU made the switch and we had no answer. Thats on coach.

And I know VCU played completely out of its mind in the tourney (I mean Ive never seen anything like that b/c VCU was a TERRIBLE team in the regular season and I dont care what they've done, they did not deserve the bid), but they did it all tourney long. They played that way for 4 games before getting to us, we should have been prepared for them to hit shots like that - thats what they had been doing all tourney long. If that shocked or surprised anyone on our bench, that's a knock on Self for not having them prepared because it was no shock to me.

The shock to me was how flat we played in the first half.

having said that, anyone who thinks Self isnt the right guy for the job is a lunatic, plain and simple. This guy is an amazing coach and has a chance to be the best one in the history of the program...think about THAT for a second. He's a human like any player and sometimes you get outcoached - it happens - its unfortunate that it happened on a day when our shooters were off. I also think the refs played a pretty big part in that game. The morrii twins were getting called for ticky tacky touch fouls the whole game but couldnt buy a whistle on the other end. It was ridiculous, but they bring it on themselves. You cant walk around and bully mid major programs like they did off the court in pre-game and expect to get as many calls.

This hurt, but I'll take Self over anyone in the country any day. He'll get another NC soon, I have no doubt about that.

REHawk 9 years, 2 months ago

I have remained quite upbeat about this squad and their overall season record. However, I have watched the rerun twice, and cannot understand why, with the bench players available, our guys were so obviously gassed in the last 8 minutes of the first half of play. By the 30 minute mark, our outside shooters had no legs to support those many 3 pt. attempts. Was Releford so crippled during Big 12 Tournament play that he could not have been prepared for more late season minutes? Was Withey such a liability that he couldn't have been primed for a few minutes of tournament action, esp. in a contest where Thomas crashed with 3 quick fouls? Those are two quality players who appear to have been wasted for inclusion in crisis situations. We had guys playing 30+ minutes in a fast-paced game trying to defend against hot hands from the arc. Legs churned to mush. Absolutely no late minutes gas to bat against Shaka Smart's changeups.

Llatiwonk 9 years, 2 months ago

A notable, quotable, quote from the 2011 NCAA tournament "Y'all had a good run. It's about to end now." OUCH! Another good one above "They did not deserve the bid" but that's the same ole stuff said early in and Shaka uses this junk to fire up the guys. I'm sure it's better when it's rolling as a video with the same ole stuff being repeated over and over by the experts though!

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