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Recap: Is this the best five-game stretch of any KU offense in the last 15 years?

Note: Here is a listing of definitions for some terms used in this blog. Also, feel free to ask questions in the comments section below if something doesn't make sense.

Pop quiz time again. We'll see how good your eyes are.

If you had to describe the pace of KU's 103-86 victory over Missouri, would you say it was:

A. Very fast. Well above KU's average pace this year.
B. Right at KU's average pace this year.
C. Very slow. Well below KU's average pace this year. http://www2.kusports.com/photos/galle...

Congrats to all those of you who picked B.

Though both teams came in with run-and-gun reputations, Monday night's game actually on featured 71 possessions — just above KU's 70.8 possessions per game it was averaging this season. KU actually had more possessions in both the Texas game earlier this year (where it scored 63 points).

The average number of possessions in Monday's game, of course, makes KU's 103-point effort even more impressive.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson delivers a tomahawk jam between Missouri defenders Steve Moore, left, and Justin Safford during the second half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson delivers a tomahawk jam between Missouri defenders Steve Moore, left, and Justin Safford during the second half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The Jayhawks scored a lot of points without needing a lot of possessions. In other words, KU was efficient with the possessions it had.

Just how efficient? It turns out historically so.

I almost fell over when I saw the final numbers: KU scored 1.45 points per possession on Monday night — its highest total of the entire year against any team.

I went back to Missouri's statistics, looking at each of its defensive efforts from the last 15 years. Turns out, this was the most points scored per possession against the Tigers in any game of the last 15 years. Only one opponent during that time had even topped 1.40 PPP, and that was KU back in the 2001-02 season (1.42).

The highest any team other than KU has scored against Missouri in the past 15 years was Texas A&M in 2004-05 (1.38 PPP).

Missouri coach Mike Anderson, left, and players huddle up in the second half against Kansas on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Missouri coach Mike Anderson, left, and players huddle up in the second half against Kansas on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Richard Gwin

Here's the breakdown of KU's two halves on Monday:

First half
KU — 1.24 PPP
(37 possessions)

Second half
KU — 1.67 PPP
(34 possessions)

How good is 1.67 PPP? No Div. I team has scored 1.67 PPP in a game this year — not even against an opponent from a lower division.

Yet, KU posted 1.67 PPP for a half against a top-25 opponent with the 42nd-ranked defense according to KenPom.

Friend-of-the-blog Bill Connelly took it a step further at his MU-based site, Rock M Nation, breaking down that KU actually scored 39 points in its first 19 possessions of the second half for 2.05 points per possession that stretch.

Kansas guard Travis Releford gets the crowd to its feet after scoring a basket against Missouri on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Travis Releford gets the crowd to its feet after scoring a basket against Missouri on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Richard Gwin

Just when I think KU's offense can't get better, it does.

M.O.J. (Most Outstanding Jayhawk)

Mario Little tops the Morris twins to take his first M.O.J. honor of the season.

Kansas guard Mario Little bemoans a foul called against him during the first half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Mario Little bemoans a foul called against him during the first half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

Little not only was terrific offensively — posting 1.58 points per possession used — he also took on a major scoring load, putting up 36.8 percent of KU's shots during his time out there while ending 21.8 percent of KU's possessions.

The Jayhawks scored at least one point on 76.4 percent of the possessions that Little ended.

Somewhat unexpectedly, Little also was a big help on the boards as well. He pulled down 25.8 percent of the available offensive rebounds and 16.6 percent of the available defensive rebounds.

Little also went 3-for-3 from three-point range and now has made five three-pointers in a row.

Room for Improvement

Statistically, KU had its worst defensive performance of the season. And still beat Missouri by 17.

Kansas defenders Tyrel Reed and Marcus Morris defend a shot by Missouri guard Matt Pressey during the second half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas defenders Tyrel Reed and Marcus Morris defend a shot by Missouri guard Matt Pressey during the second half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

The Jayhawks allowed 1.21 points per possession to the Tigers, which topped their previous defensive worst of 1.20 PPP allowed this year at Colorado.

Those two teams seem to share a similar offensive strength: Quick guards that have the ability to penetrate and get to the rim or get fouled.

This appears to be the kind of team that KU fans might want to avoid in the bracket come March, as KU's guards haven't done a good job of cutting off dribble penetration in numerous games this year.

Kansas players Brady Morningstar (12) and Marcus Morris (22) defend Missouri's Phil Pressey on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players Brady Morningstar (12) and Marcus Morris (22) defend Missouri's Phil Pressey on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Richard Gwin

As crazy as it sounds, this actually is illustrated in the free-throw percentages from this year.

Connelly made this great point in his preview on Monday, and rather than steal it and act like I'm smart, I'll quote him:

"Kansas' biggest defensive weakness seems to be that, like other recent Mizzou opponents, they foul guards a lot. They rank 230th in Def. FT%, which means they tend to send good shooters to the line. ...

"On offense, Kansas has the exact opposite problem — they don't send guards to the line very much. They rank 230th in Off. FT% because their most frequent foul shooters — Marcus Morris (66.4%), Markieff Morris (66.7%), Thomas Robinson (52.8%) — aren't very good."

What I take from that is this: If you're hoping for a huge improvement from KU's free-throw shooting this year, it's probably not going to happen because of the way the team is set up. KU's big men are the scorers, so they get fouled a lot.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris delivers two points in the second half against Missouri on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Marcus Morris delivers two points in the second half against Missouri on Monday, February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Richard Gwin

The twins/Robinson will need to shoot above-average from the line to make KU above-average from the line — an expectation that might not be reasonable.

Meanwhile, KU's defensive free-throw shooting could improve quite a bit with improved defense (and fewer fouls) from KU's guards. Thirteen of MU's 22 free throws last night were taken by guards, and not surprisingly, the Tigers shot a great percentage from the line (81.8 percent).

Tough-Luck Line

Tyshawn Taylor goes here after a tough shooting night, but honestly, his offensive numbers weren't as bad as I expected.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor drives through the lane against the Missouri defense in the first half on Monday February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor drives through the lane against the Missouri defense in the first half on Monday February 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Richard Gwin

Taylor still posted 1.20 points per possession while ending 19.3 percent of KU's possessions — a number I would have assumed to be much higher with 14 shot attempts.

His eFG% was only 32.1 percent — lowest on the team — but Taylor did provide plenty of positives for KU against Missouri.

For one, he only turned it over two times in 35 minutes against the Tigers' pressure defense. Taylor, often criticized for his lack of focus, was a great primary ball-handler for KU on Monday.

Kansas guard Tyshwan Taylor drives against Missouri's Phil Pressey on Monday, Feb. 7th, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshwan Taylor drives against Missouri's Phil Pressey on Monday, Feb. 7th, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Richard Gwin

Taylor also had to play extended minutes because of a struggling Elijah Johnson, as Taylor's 35 minutes were his second-most all season.

Though Taylor's shot filter could have used a bit of tweaking against MU, he still provided enough in the other areas to make this a bit of a tough-luck, "Tough-Luck Line."

Bottom Line

KU's offense, right now, might be better than any Jayhawks offense we've seen in the last 15 years during conference play.

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar connects on a three-pointer from the corner over Missouri forward Steve Moore during the first half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Brady Morningstar connects on a three-pointer from the corner over Missouri forward Steve Moore during the first half on Monday, Feb. 7, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

I went back and looked, and only two KU teams have put together five straight league games in that time frame with at least 1.20 points per possession: the 2001-02 Jayhawks and this year's Jayhawks.

Even that doesn't tell the whole story. That 2001-02 team — with Drew Gooden, Nick Collison and company — had three games during the five-game stretch when it posted less than 1.23 PPP (1.42, 1.22, 1.29, 1.21, 1.21).

This year's team has scored at least 1.23 PPP in each of its last five games (1.26, 1.23, 1.26, 1.25, 1.45).

In other words, enjoy this offense. It's going through one of the best five-game stretches in Big 12 history.

Comments

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 8 months ago

I've been saying it all year: Mario Little and Travis Releford give the Jayhawks the necessary players to make a championship run. While Selby and Morningstar are both quality players, the 3 spot requires someone with both the ability to post up and the ability to shoot from outside. It requires a great deal of size and it also requires extreme offensive efficiency (something neither Morningstar or Selby have managed while at the 3 spot). Mario Little is shooting 53% from 3 (8-15) and 47-83 overall (56%). Travis Releford is shooting 14-32 from 3pt (43.75%) and 36-66 overall (54%). That's insane. Morningstar shoots 50% and Selby 40%, but their lack of interior ability and lack of size is problematic at the 3 spot. Both are perfectly solid 2s and Selby can play the 1 in relief of Taylor.

I've said it all season and I still believe the lineup will shift, especially with Mario and Travis back. Others have noted the lack of sync between Selby (who certainly doesn't look like a one-and-done right now) and the rest of the team. I don't see that. I just see a freshman point guard trying to play the 3 spot. I think the last three games have demonstrated how much we need Little and Releford at the 3 and what Morningstar can bring if he's aggressive and not passive at the 2 spot. I certainly wouldn't pull Selby from the rotation when he returns, but it's clear he needs to be moved into a backup role behind Reed and Taylor where he can be most effective to the team, and let Little,, Releford and occasionally Morningstar hold down the 3 spot.

The real beauty of this team is that it can rotate so many players in multiple positions if it needs to:

Taylor - 1 Selby - 1 & 2 Reed - 2 Morningstar - 2 & 3 Releford - 3 & 4 Little - 3 & 4 Morris - 4 & 5 Morris - 4 & 5 Robinson - 4 & 5

And you've still got Johnson -1 and Withey - 5 in reserve if you must buy minutes.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 8 months ago

I think Self also says that Mario's D is not nearly as strong as his O, and Coach definitely favors the former over the latter.

Coach also really likes a 3 guard attack - running the weave and all sorts of interchangability. I think this team's depth and diversity of talent are testing his coaching comfort zone. He likes to shorten the bench as the season progresses, but when you have last nights reserves ( - EJ + Selby) performing at the level they did against mizzoo and the other recent victims, I think it is pushing his comfort zone.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 8 months ago

Robinson was on another level. Best on the ball defender I've seen in a KU uniform and while Coach Self was hard on him at that time, I think he's demonstrating some growth as a coach in his working with Taylor. Taylor isn't the Point Guard RussRob was his Junior year. RussRob, even as a sophomore was a guy you could count on every game, level headed, mentally tough, not over-emotional, always in control, and a constant defensive nightmare for your opponent. Taylor is still a little too emotional on the court. I don't think he quite sees the game like RussRob did and he certainly isn't as lock down defensively as Robinson, but he's improving. Robinson had similar shooting woes because he too was the lone dribble penetrator in the starting line-up. I continue to believe much of Collins inside scoring in 2008 was purely the result of following Robinson in the line-up. He lost a lot of that inside game in 2009 & 2010.

That 3 spot is so huge in the NCAA right now. So many teams are playing undersized. If you can put a guy in there at 5'5" or 5'6", it's a major pain for smaller defenders. It's silly for a team with our depth to play an undersized guy at that spot. If you will recall, Memphis went tall against us in 2008 when they played both Antonio Anderson (6'6") and Chris Douglas-Roberts (6'7") at the 2 and the 3.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 8 months ago

You missed Mc at the 3 also. Self has used it a few times lately, and I believe for a little bit last night when Tyrel was in foul trouble.

LAJayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

I am a big fan of the lineup of Morris squared and Robinson. Marcus handles the ball fairly close to the level that Selby does now anyway, and I think he can be deadly from the 3 spot where he can work inside and out with two big time rebounders to help him out. With that rebounding help, he can focus a lot on his offensive moves. Plus, we should be a rebounding machine with that line up. On our 24 misses last night, we had 14 offensive boards. Very good. If you have the above mentioned lineup, that's a regularity and more, I believe. Of course, Marcus could have problems guarding small, quick guards on the defensive end, but with our guards poor ability to keep opposing guards out of the lane as it is, Marcus covering one is not much more of a liability than it has been with our "regular" guards.

On the individual side, the 3 spot is the position Marcus will play at the next level anyway, so it behooves him to get in some time there now.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 8 months ago

I think that's primarily a switch situation. Mario/Travis and Marcus can force a switch, get the little guy against a bigger defender, or a bigger guy against a little defender. Ideally, the big man is drawn out to guard the 3 spot (Little/Releford) while Marcus draws a smaller guard underneath the basket.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 8 months ago

I feel like I've been talking about the 3 for a while as well. There is so much potential at that spot. From an offensive standpoint KS is going to have 4-5 guys on the floor at all times who you are going to have to try to get out and guard on the perimeter, so what does another middle of the road percentage shooter (Selby) add? Adding 3-4 inches (with Releford if you throw his arms into the equation you're basically adding 8 inches to Selby) changes the rebounding game where KU has had a few issues this year, it changes the perimeter defense game where they have definitely given up too many good looks against the big 6 conference schools they have played and I feel it changes the number advantage fast break game as well, where in my opinion it's gone unnoticed that this team has struggled.

Selby is an embarassment in fast break situations. You don't see many FF teams who have a point guard that throws up behind the back shots on 1-1 fast breaks.

Michael Luby 3 years, 8 months ago

I agree. Selby comes off the bench to give us a spark on offense at the 2 spot and relieve tyshawn at the point. Keep Releford and Little at the 3-4. Excellent. It worked perfectly for them the past couple games.

amaldy 3 years, 8 months ago

Does KU's defense struggle when they play GREAT offense? It seems to the naked eye that when the offense is clicking, they are ok with trading baskets for awhile. Just curious if the numbers reflect this.

Adam Evans 3 years, 8 months ago

I don't think they slack on D, but when you get to hitting shots that fast, you allow other teams to set up their half court offense consistently. Kansas has not been a pressing team all year, so that allows teams to take down the court after a KU score on a fairly regular, easy, pace. And a good scoring team like Mizz will take advantage of that...until their stars foul out.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 8 months ago

Less time to set up. When you are playing as fast as our guys played against Missouri, there is not enough time to negate the offense setting-up. It's like Peyton Manning and the Colts. Don't give your opponent time to figure out what you are trying to do and there is a higher percentage chance they won't be able to defend it.

We do the same thing on offense... we tend to favor a pound it inside method to start a game... our starting Point Guards under Self have not necessarily had the best numbers in the Turnover and Shooting categories because they are taught to penetrate and break down the defense. The more you dribble in, the more misses, blocks and turnovers the point guard must shoulder... but it opens up the court for other players to take advantage. Teams start to figure this out, and that's when the weave, drop screens and the Hi/Low comes into play. Start hiding what you're doing with misdirection.

Dillon Davis 3 years, 8 months ago

Too bad we can't make free throws, otherwise we would be unstoppable. I don't want that statistic hanging over our head when we go into tourney time.

Joe Joseph 3 years, 8 months ago

They'll make them when it counts.

.....says John Calipari.

DevilHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Agreed.

Reference the 2003 Championship Game.

Nicholas Cederlind 3 years, 8 months ago

Offense wins games but defense wins championships. I'd trade our offensive stats in for equivalent defensive ones, right now. I'm sure our defense will tighten by march.

melrank 3 years, 8 months ago

Jesse - thanks for shedding some light on the intangibles that Taylor brings to the table - even though he drives us nuts at times. His ability to weather Missouri's pressure was a key element in getting us into our offensive sets. Plus, he allowed our other ball handlers the freedom to catch a breath while he took on the heat of bringing the ball up.

justinryman 3 years, 8 months ago

People are forgetting what robinson brought to the floor last night, he played very well, sure he missed a few FT's and was slow on help d, but what KU big guy has done better in the amount of minutes this year?

It's nice to be able to go to your bench and bring in size(Robinson), speed(EJ, Little, Relleford) and leadership(Morningstar). Most teams when they get to thir 7th man they show a drop in production, KU can go 8 or 9 deep right now and not a lot changes. Plus it has to push the starting 5 to keep going hard or else....

HCBS showed he isn't afraid to yank either Morris if they play bad D and get out rebounded as they did last night early in the game. Now if he and Manning can get the schoolyard bully out of them....WOW!!!

Started slow, never panicked and just kept going. Thought they finally went for the kill last night and got it. It seems before the Texas game KU would get up 15 and then coast to a 7 pt win, not last night. Hopefully they keep doing that, and when they play texas again they will beat the Horns by 25.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 8 months ago

There is no reason to believe that the scoring streak will be broken with the Iowa State SnoCones coming to Allen this Saturday.

Burn me as a heretic, but I think we would win this game even if MM, MM and TT didn't set foot on the court.

My point is, let Josh rest it for five more days and have him rarin' to go against the Kitties on Monday!!

Something tells me ESPN was expecting something a little different when they scheduled Monday's game last summer!!!

Sidenote: Calipari looks like the sadistic little gangster boss and Frank Martin looks like his hulking assasin, Luka Brasi.....but Frank is OK.

Alohahawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Add your quote to the top pick of the Misery team and Coach Anderson. Do they look a bit shell shocked? It's like they're a family of meercats who have just ventured above ground to check for predators.

"Do you see that, Coach?" " Yeah,and I don't know that I want any part of it."

"I feel safer here in back. Don't send me out there, Coach, I'll get pulverized."

"Hey Coach, what does that sign mean, 'Scat cats' " "I think it refers to a tiger's dietary habits."

"I've got to go, Coach." "Hmm...Male... Female.. Sorry, I don't see a restroom for coprophagists?"

"Beggars can't be choosers, guys. You've each got to pick someone to guard."

PhogAdvisory 3 years, 8 months ago

"It's like they're a family of meercats who have just ventured above ground to check for predators."

...And watched in horror as a Jayhawk swooped down and carried Safford off in its mouth.

Robert Lofthouse 3 years, 8 months ago

Bowers to Anderson, "okay with you coach, if I just foul out so I can sit down next to you and watch the rest of the show?"

Dirk Medema 3 years, 8 months ago

"Taylor also had to play extended minutes because of a struggling Elijah Johnson, as Taylor's 35 minutes were his second-most all season."

I almost expect it from Brent & Bobby, but I would have expected Jesse to have noted that there was a significant change in the personnel used last night, including TT's minutes, b/c Tyrel sat for huge minutes with foul trouble.

"If you're hoping for a huge improvement from KU's free-throw shooting this year, it's probably not going to happen because of the way the team is set up. KU's big men are the scorers, so they get fouled a lot."

If DJax had not been forced to sit out the first 9 games of '06 (?) so that all he could do was shoot FT's before hitting a ridiculous % the rest of the year then tapered back 10% the following year when he was practicing like normal, or the '07-'08 team hadn't improved 10% from non-con to the BigXII season (semester break when you have extra time to devote to the little points of your game like FT's), then I would say this is a valid point. Unfortunately, history says that it is possible for players to become better shooters (jump shot, hook shot, floater, ..., FT) if they devote the necessary time to developing the proper muscle memory through repetition. FT's aren't glamorous, but the '03 and '08 teams will tell you that they do win championships.

Jesse Newell 3 years, 8 months ago

dagger — Good point on the Reed foul situation, but I'd still contend Taylor's PT had more to do with Johnson than Reed.

If you look back, Johnson is usually the one that comes off the bench to replace Taylor. It's not 100 percent, but its seems like that's the case most of the time. Self likes to label his players "bigs" and "smalls," but even then, I'd say Johnson is penciled in as the backup point guard.

Just take a look at the minutes from the two players in last six games. Almost every game, their minutes add up to around 40. And when Taylor gets fewer minutes, Johnson typically gets more, and vice versa.

Texas — Taylor 33, Johnson 4. Colorado — Taylor 31, Johnson 12. Kansas State — Taylor 26, Johnson 13. Texas Tech — Taylor 25, Johnson 13. Nebraska — Taylor 27, Johnson 14. Missouri — Taylor 35, Johnson 4.

Hawkfan1 3 years, 8 months ago

Dagger... "Unfortunately, history says that it is possible for players to become better shooters (jump shot, hook shot, floater, ..., FT) if they devote the necessary time to developing the proper muscle memory through repetition." I could not agree more. There seems to be a good team rhythm where even Self says they like to play together. But the FT is all about personal rhythm. Also, I have believed from the beginning that when Selby matures and gains confidence, he makes up for the rest of what lacks between EJ and TT as well as the FT% issue with the bigs. At the 1 (or 2) he visualizes the court better (...more PT) and can draw the fouls with his drives (...more FT). Unfortunately, the team can't wait for him!

COJayhawker 3 years, 8 months ago

Jesse Newell, God-bless your impressive OCD in regards to stats.

Off topic. Did anyone else wonder WTF the court-side reporter (her name escapes me) was doing wearing K-State purple?

KGphoto 3 years, 8 months ago

BTW, everybody has been wearing purple lately. Whassup?

At the superbowl 90% of the broadcasters were wearing purple ties.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 8 months ago

Aikman and Buck for the SB the other night to. What is the world coming to?

Tony Bandle 3 years, 8 months ago

Are the rumors about those two, true???

Greg Lux 3 years, 8 months ago

Selby needs to play 1 and Taylor needs to watch from the bench. Taylor is just to sloppy and if we are going to make the run we need to get Josh into the position he belongs "Point Guard". Yes he is going to make mistakes and thats the point of getting him there NOW so he will be ready for post season action. I love TT but he just has to learn to not have these constant mental breakdowns. Even if he was playing well .. With EJ's lack of improvement we need another point guard who we can depend on and that has to be Josh. Now is the time, ISU is the game.

Rock Chalk

Dr. Robert s. Mosser 3 years, 8 months ago

JHAWKERMAN stay off the weed when watching the ballgame. Taylor has done very well. So he missed some floaters in the lane, but he hit a 3 from the corner that was part of the run that put MU away. The oposition has to use some time to keep TT from going down the lane and that helps the bigs inside.

Michael Leiker 3 years, 8 months ago

The biggest difference between Selby and Taylor right now is that Selby makes the mistake of taking the ball to the wrong place on the floor at the wrong time thus getting himself in position to make turnovers, TT gets the ball where it needs to be, either off the dribble or the pass, but then sometimes makes a bad read or bad shot. I will take the former over the latter from a point guard any day.

REHawk 3 years, 8 months ago

I think it's a mathematical miscalculation of Tyshawn's: Hey, Coach, this year I understand my role. I'll play 65% point guard, 65% shooting guard. Doesn't that compute just about right for my role as a combo guard on this team?

BillConnelly1 3 years, 8 months ago

As always, thanks for the shout out, Jesse!

actorman 3 years, 8 months ago

Jhawkerman, it's a little strange that you call out TT now, after he played a solid game (his missed shots notwithstanding). As Jesse pointed out, he made only 2 turnovers in 35 minutes against a tough, pressing defense. So after that, why would you talk about him being "to" sloppy?

Scatterhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

Taylor had a very good game. He missed a lot of shots, but they weren't jumpshots, or long threes- he was getting to the lane. MU's guards want to body up on their men even well past the three point line, so he was using his superior speed to get to the rim. This forced MU's guards to foul him, or let him get a shot up- and if some of you haven't noticed, our big men are superior to MU's so even if (when) he misses those floaters/tough lay-ins, KU was able to get rebounds and put backs. Tyshawn understood MU's defense and he took advantage of it, and if you can't see that you're blind.

Also, he made his FTs.

Danny Hernandez 3 years, 8 months ago

Scatterhawk...exactly... TT in the first 5 minutes of the second half, blew by Pressey three(3) times and got to the glass. The results were either a foul or an offensive rebound leading to a basket..

TT routinely beat whomever was guarding him, it's just that he wasn't converting but still, I want him continually driving, drawing fouls or getting the defense in a position where they can't get the rebound, leaving the weakside open to our big men to both rebound and put another shot up.

TT played great imho.

jhox 3 years, 8 months ago

Jesse points our our guards seem to get beat off the dribble frequently. I don't disagree, but it is a very rare team that doesn't have that problem. A quick offensive player simply has an advantage over a quick defensive player. They can cross over, get the defender off balance and, besides, they know what direction they're going. When a quick guard is also a good outside shooter, it makes things that much more difficult because the defender can't take a step off.

I feel the problem is more with our bigs being poor at helping, so it makes the guards getting beat off the dribble much more noticible. I know people will argue this, but Jacque Vaughn got beat off the dribble frequently, but he was perceived to be a great defender. I would argue that the bigs Vaughn played with had as much to do with that reputation as Vaughn did.

Watching that game Monday night, half the time our big guys has no idea where the ball was on the floor, they were not in good position to see both man and ball. MU did a very good job of screening our big men, so that they couldn't get in position to help (it's very rare to see a team do that.) Even when our bigs did see the ball and attempt to help, MU's bigs were screening them from making the play.

jhox 3 years, 8 months ago

I apologize for the spelling and grammar. I was in a hurry to get to work this morning.

I also wanted to comment on the fact that this is a great offensive team. I've been following KU basketball closely since the mid 1970's, and I really believe this is the best offensive team we've ever had. We've had many years where we have had the luxury of a deep bench, but this is the best bench we've had to date. We've had 8th, 9th or 10th guys who were decent contributors before, but never guys that far down the bench who could contribute to the extent this bunch does.

Coach Self is probably the best defensive coach in college basketball. I keep thinking he's going to get this defensive issue worked out, but we're 2/3 the way through the season, and we still have problems. That's more than a little concerning.

KGphoto 3 years, 8 months ago

This has been a good thread.

Nominees for Best Nicknames:

ralster, for "Reedster", and "Bstar" (Sooooo much better than BM) Oakville, for "Iowa State SnoCones", and "Luka Brasi"

Nominees for Best One Word Post:

stupidmichael, for "Bananas" dagger108, for "Winces"

Nominees for Best Scenario:

Alohahawk, for "Meerkats" REHawk, for "65% point guard, 65% shooting guard" *ralster, for "Kieffed"

Honorable Mention:

*kenshinU, for "Fergie"

And the winners are...

Michael Leiker 3 years, 8 months ago

Does it seem to anyone else that it is almost as simple as Self sitting down with Taylor and having a conversation about him needing to finish in close? Sometimes I feel like he gets in there and kind of just throws it up instead of truly attacking the rim and/or getting fouled. I sometimes also think that he's gotten so used to the bigs getting the boards over the years that he isn't as concerned with finishing as he is with just getting the ball up on the rim.

Danny Hernandez 3 years, 8 months ago

at least TT didn't get his junk stuffed like Pressey and Dixon did...or literally throw up junk off the glass like those two midget players for moo were doing.

TT early in his career had those floaters off the glass drop more often than now...law of averages....I say, keep pushing the ball and go to the glass

Michael Leiker 3 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely, I'm not asking for him to be less aggressive, just think something very small is missing and why he is not converting like he used to. TT is the key to how far this team goes.

John Randall 3 years, 8 months ago

He seems to me to have heard so often that he needs to dish it off it has made him hesitate when the lane closes up.

The idea of putting it on the glass for an OR can be as good as an alley oop, and he knows which side to "miss" by whose defender has come over to stop the drive. Think about it – it is no more difficult than feeding the post on the side that gives your teammate half a step.

Alan Iverson was a real master of that technique which kept his coaches from benching him for shooting a low percentage. Those put-backs go in the scorebook as unassisted, OR+FG, but they go on the scoreboard as 2 (and +1, often as not), just like a perfect pass from the wing into the post.

ajhk 3 years, 8 months ago

Nice work Newell. Great job bringing more meaningful stats for analysis. It's a job never completed trying to satisfy the basketball crazy KU fans (myself included).

I haven't been able to view most of these last five games but from what I have seen, it looks like this team is capable of what most of us fans here were expecting.

I'm glad CS wasn't satisfied when it seemed like the offense couldn't get much better. More than just motivation, I think he legitimately sees a ceiling that has yet to be reached.

It's a lot of fun watching these guys play with the amount of confidence they've had lately. If these guys keep it up, I'm going to quit my job for at least the season. At this point I'd rather die unemployed than living with the regret of missing this season. Gotta keep perspective!

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