Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bill Self: Don’t count out Longhorns yet

Texas men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, left, talks with Cameron Ridley in the first half of a NCAA college basketball game against Baylor, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Waco, Texas.

Texas men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, left, talks with Cameron Ridley in the first half of a NCAA college basketball game against Baylor, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Waco, Texas.



Associated Press

Texas men's basketball coach Rick Barnes, left, talks with Cameron Ridley in the first half of a NCAA college basketball game against Baylor, Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Waco, Texas.

— Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self has a message for those who have buried the 2012-13 Texas Longhorns three games into the conference season.

“It’s early. It’s early,” Self said. “North Carolina started 0-2 in the league (ACC) in 2009 and won the national championship. It’s not uncommon to see good teams or good programs get off to rough starts. This isn’t indicative of how great their program has been. They’ll get it back. Rick will get it back. I just hope it doesn’t happen Saturday.”

Coach Rick Barnes’ Longhorns (8-8 overall, 0-3 Big 12) occupy ninth place in the Big 12 standings. They will play host to first-place KU (15-1, 3-0) at 1 p.m. today in Erwin Center. The traditionally tough Longhorns are 0-3 in the league for the first time in the 15-year Barnes era. It’s the first time a Barnes team has had a losing record after three games. Texas has been 3-0 in the conference nine times and 2-1 five times.

“I think any time you lose a quality player like Kabongo, it’d hurt any team,” Self said of sophomore point guard Myck Kabongo, who is suspended until Feb. 13.

“They are arguably right there among the younger teams in the country (with seven freshmen, five sophomores). They are very capable of beating folks, as evidenced of what they did to Carolina (85-67 home victory on Dec. 19).”

Still, Texas must start winning — and winning big — or see its string of 14 consecutive NCAA Tournament bids snapped.

The Jayhawks lead the country in consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (23), followed by Duke (17), Michigan State (15), Texas (14), Gonzaga (14) and Wisconsin (14).

Barnes’ 17 consecutive trips to the tournament (including three straight bids at Clemson) tie Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski for longest streak of all active coaches. KU’s Bill Self’s streak is 14 years and counting — nine NCAA Tourney berths at KU, three at Illinois and two at Tulsa.

“If they aren’t going to do what we ask them to do, we aren’t going to win,” Barnes said. His squad, which lost to Chaminade at the Maui Invitational, in conference play has fallen at Baylor (86-79, OT), at home to West Virginia (57-53, OT) and at Iowa State (82-62).

“We don’t have a big margin of error. If we continue to give up second shots and not do the things that are going to make us more precise on the offense, we aren’t going to win. Our (defensive) numbers are pretty impressive, but when you look at it from a coach’s standpoint, we aren’t nearly where we should be. It takes all five guys. I would say Sheldon (McClellan, 14.3 ppg) and Javan (point guard Felix, 9.4 ppg, 6.3 assists per game) are the two guys that have to take it to a different level defensively as far as getting out of their comfort zone.”

McClellan, a 6-foot-4 sophomore from Houston, and Felix, a 5-10 freshman from New Orleans, faced the wrath of Barnes on Saturday at Iowa State. McClellan played just one minute total. Felix played 34 minutes but received a loud chewing out during a timeout after a defensive lapse.

“We have a group of guys who want to be good,” Barnes told the Austin American-Statesman. “They are willing to work. I’m not worried about ever losing them.”

Texas ranks second nationally in field-goal-percentage defense (34.3 percent), trailing only KU (34.2 percent). KU’s opponents have hit 324 of 946 shots, Texas’ foes 321 of 937.

“We are right there neck-and-neck,” Self said, “but they are kicking our butt in three-point-field-goal-percentage defense.”

Texas leads the country in that category (24.8 percent), while KU is tied for 90th (31.2 percent).

“That’s a big difference,” Self said. “I think they do a much better job of guarding the arc. It’s hard to get easy baskets on them. He (Barnes) has always had good defensive teams, then they’ll sprinkle in and play some 2-3 zone like he has in the past. Statistically, they’ve always been good defensively.”

KU point guard Elijah Johnson isn’t stressing over the defensive stats.

“The key to taking care of that is just playing,” Johnson said. “I don’t feel like we should pay that any mind. We play. We do what we do. We take the shots that are open. We make ’em. We miss ’em. We just keep playing.”

The Jayhawks hold a 20-7 lead in the all-time series and have won six of the past seven meetings versus UT. Texas has won three of the past five at Erwin Center.

“It’s never easy going to Texas. Why would it be different now?” Johnson said. KU is 5-5 all-time in Austin. “They are going to fight ... 0-4 doesn’t sound good to them. I’m pretty sure they are not going to sit back and just let it happen. Four-and-oh sounds good to us. So go out and handle business, do what we’re supposed to do. I expect a good game.”

Texas coach talks: UT has averaged 10,128 fans in eight games in 16,540-seat Erwin Center. As of Friday, today’s game was not a sellout.

“I don’t think players should allow the atmosphere to dictate how they are going to play. We would love to have great crowds, and we have fans at Texas that are never going to give up on these guys, but the fact is, regardless of the situation, you have to play,” Barnes said Friday. “That would be on my list of excuses column. We all like having a great crowd. We won’t deny that.”

Barnes believes the fans will see an elite team in KU.

“I think that any time of the year, when you are not playing the way you want to, you want to play against the best teams. We look at it is as an opportunity to get better. Kansas is an outstanding team. You look at the older guys on their team, and they have been through it all,” Barnes said.

Of KU’s building a strong roster, Barnes said: “I don’t know what the players’ plans were coming in to Kansas, but the fact is, they stayed there and they have gotten better. When you have older guys (four senior starters), and you can keep a consistency where the older guys set the tone, they show the younger players what it is all about.”

Ben’s back: There was no change in Ben McLemore’s status Friday for today’s game. He returned to practice this week and is expected to play versus the Longhorns.

Praise: Barnes lauded the play of UT freshmen Demarcus Holland and Ioannis Papapetrou after last Saturday’s Iowa State loss. Holland, 6-2, had six points and four assists in 25 minutes. Papapetrou, a 6-8 forward who chose UT over KU in recruiting, had 13 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.

“That’s what we’ve lacked from the (wing) position — offensive rebounding,” Barnes told the American-Statesman. “Papi did an excellent job getting five of them.”

Criticism: Barnes had a colorful quote recently regarding his team: “Nothing hurts more than when you watch the other team want the game more than you,” Barnes told the American-Statesman. “That is a killer. I told them after the Baylor game, if I were a businessman, I’d fire them all.”


kerbyd 9 years, 10 months ago

I kinda had to laugh at that last quote. It kinda reminded me of something a certain Kansas coach might say.

ChicagoJHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, not worried about this game. Barnes and Scott Drew are the worst coaches in the Big 12. Texas and Baylor have had more talent than we have the last few years and have done nothing with it!

bayareajhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Baylor has been to 2 of the past 3 Elite Eights. Most schools would be awfully proud of that. Not KU maybe, but most schools.

John Randall 9 years, 10 months ago

If you're 'not worried' about this game, I'm glad you're also not playing or coaching in this game.

Every B12 team is something to 'worry' about, and nearly all of them are more than just a little to worry about. A lackadaisical approach to any game just opens the door to a hungry opponent.

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, Tejas is in the can lately, but they are going to look at this game as their ticket to the March time. oh, yeah...

Same old deal, like every Big 12 game -- it will be the biggest crowd of the season, all hoping to see Barnes pull one of the Stetson, but I agree with slayr, 4 seniors and uno SuperMac means no Bongo, no taco, no loco!!

Rock el Chalko, JayHawks!!

Kansasballer2020 9 years, 10 months ago

Pray for Connor frankamp..was playing in the toc in dodge city, was undercut on a dunk attempt and landed on his head...looked really really bad, was down for about 20 minutes and then taken off by a chair/ stretcher..haven't heard much but know he lost a lot of blood..looked intentional from where I was sitting on the defenders part..hopefully he will be ok

DDDHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Connor, we are thinking of you. I'm proud of your team for pulling out the victory without you. Relax, and get better, and we hope to see you back on the court again!

jbal32 9 years, 10 months ago

I was there last night as well. I don't know about intentional, but it did look pretty bad. I thought about the same comparison with Peters also. Scary stuff.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Based on what I've read, whether or not the foul was aimed at injuring him, it was at least butcher ball.

So: it is a really bad day when butcher ball surfaces in high school ball and takes a phenom down.

What tweaks my curiosity is the comment in the story linked above in which the writer notes that a player on the other team suffered some kind of injury with a cut involved.

Was the foul on Conner some pay back for a previous play?

No matter, it just sucks to see this kind of play. I know severe injuries have always occurred in basketball, but there is no denying that the game has gotten rougher and so these kinds of incidents are occuring within a context drifting toward a risk of more and more violent injury.

And it points toward a time when basketball players will begin to wear something approximating bicycle helmets to play the game.

Very bad.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 10 months ago

Early flight down this morning. Beak 'Em Hawks!

Brianna Zaleski 9 years, 10 months ago

So Texas leads the country in 3 pt fg defense and is 2nd in 2 pt fg def, yet they are 8-8, 0-3? Their offensive and rebounding ranks must be awful. We'd better buckle down on D ourselves because if their Defensive numbers shake out, then they are one day of hot shooting away from giving us a loss. I don't expect this from our boys, but those stats are a little worrisome.

Scott Smetana 9 years, 10 months ago

Nice one Jaybate. And it's a record for length!

Iandhi 9 years, 10 months ago

I still think "PHOF" is the record holder.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

Crappy free is better than not being able to see it. I live in SEC country which means some dull game.
I just checked and noticed they will be showing it there.

FearlessJayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Which means nobody will be watching CBS. Who in their right mind would watch WV and Purdue chicken?

BainDread 9 years, 10 months ago

It's scheduled to be on the CBS sports channel on TimeWarner here in San Diego...and it's going to be sunny and 70 degrees!

JayDocMD 9 years, 10 months ago

“We have a group of guys who want to be good,” Barnes told the Austin American-Statesman. “They are willing to work. I’m not worried about ever losing them.”

Translation: he's worried about losing his team - and with his track record he should be.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

If there are questions about who is the "redheaded Texas girl", here's the answer. Thought I would start everyone's day off right.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

HEM..please, please, please...... never delete this photo!!! :)

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

And mash it with Jimmy for you alias. :-)

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

A photo well worth having saved. Nothing better than Jayhawk blue to accentuate features.

jhox 9 years, 10 months ago

To get your minds back on basketball, here is a nice photo of Coach Self and the team:


by jhox

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 10 months ago

Obviously a ploy by UT to distract Coach Self and the Jayhawks. LOL

Brad Miller 9 years, 10 months ago

Reminds me of that suspended player Texas has, Myck...

Oscar_Unit 9 years, 10 months ago

Not bad. In fact, pretty good! However, remember the redheaded Kansas cheerleader that got lots of camera time 3-4 years ago? Once again something Kansas does better than Texas - redheads!

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 months ago

Why doesn't somebody Photoshop (or something similar) this and change the orange shirt to blue? I, like most others are obssesed with this photo. But, wouldn't it be even better in a KU shirt? I dare somebody to do it!

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

Been following that Manti Teo story and comparing it to Texas. He had a fake girlfriend for a couple years, while Texas has had a fake coach since 1998.

JayDocMD 9 years, 10 months ago

Of KU’s building a strong roster, Barnes said: “I don’t know what the players’ plans were coming in to Kansas, but the fact is, they stayed there and they have gotten better. ”

Not sure what to make of this comment. My first thought was that it was a swipe at KU - saying the players who went to KU expected to be in the League by now, or at least expected to have seen more playing time sooner than what's happened. Am I off base?

jhox 9 years, 10 months ago

That is exactly how I took his comment, and I'm confident that's how he intended it.

dylans 9 years, 10 months ago

I just took it as really talented guys are still here for their senior season. That just doesn't happen enough. Releford thought he was a OAD out of high school; five years later he's one heck of a player.

bayareajhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Barnes has had all of his top recruits bolt lately. I think he is jealous and wishing he could keep some around for more than a year or two.

dylans 9 years, 10 months ago

old news in some long forgotten article. Releford was a top HS recruit at one time.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

From the article -- Barnes had a colorful quote recently regarding his team: “Nothing hurts more than when you watch the other team want the game more than you,” Barnes told the American-Statesman. “That is a killer. I told them after the Baylor game, if I were a businessman, I’d fire them all.”

That reminds me of Quin Snyder saying that a coach "can't coach effort."

I wonder if the "fire them all" comment included the coach.

Texas is always dangerous from a talent perspective, but one of those teams that seems to always underachieve. Their coach is why they underachieve. Compare to KU and coach Self.

Julius Randle -- please note the difference. A starting spot is here, and has your name on it. Not sure how playing in a 60% full, drab arena, each night could have any luster.

jhox 9 years, 10 months ago

Let's hope Barnes doesn't get fired. With the right coach, Texas is the one conference school who could be a challenge for us year end, year out.

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

I've posted on this before, but KU needs for one of the conference schools to elevate itself to a legitimate rival, both for conference supremacy & on the national scene.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

ict .. and further rewind as to why Louisville would have been perfect for the Big 12.

Kye Clark 9 years, 10 months ago

HEM - yep. We were discussing this just this past week. And out of all the "tier 2" schools, Louisville would have been the best get. Pretty big whiff by the league imo.

Boouk 9 years, 10 months ago

He's still considering Texas? I thought he was down to KU, UK, UNC and NCState.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

UNC isn't on his list. Texas, KU, UK, NC State and Florida. Oklahoma was making a run at him, according to ESPN, but no reference to interest by Randle.

At ESPN, as of Jan. 15, Telep predicted KU; Biancardi, Francisco, and Stovall say Texas; Rankin, Finklestein, and LaPlante say Kentucky. Link below.

Randle's interview references that he likes a place with great fan support, says other guys decisions on where they're going isn't a big deal, but that being in a position to win a title is of the most importance; he said if he could play with one person from high school ball to play with, it would be Andrew Harrison.

Telep says that he thinks Randle wants to go somewhere where he is the go-to guy with enough pieces to make a run for a title.

Robert Brock 9 years, 10 months ago

I read an interview with Randle where he mentioned that he could see himself emulating Durant at Texas, referring to "the success that Durant brought UT."

Someone needs to remind Randle that Texas finished about 5 games behind the Hawks in the conference standings that year.

dylans 9 years, 10 months ago

Texas finished 2 games back in third place behind A&M

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Without Mitch Kabongp, Texas is a ship without a rudder. Put pressure on Felix and start counting the passes that end up in the stands!!

As I posted yesterday..KU 75 Texas 60, BenMac 22 minutes and 14 points, AWIII plays and scores [on the court, that is!!]

jhox 9 years, 10 months ago

I don't think Kabongo would make that much difference. He's the most overrated player in the country.

stigs 9 years, 10 months ago

off topic, but i couldn't find it any where else on this site: Conner Frankamp was injured in a game last night. Diagnosed with a concussion and will sit out next game. Here's a link to the article from the Wichita Eagle.

Jeffery Barrett 9 years, 10 months ago

My brother was at the game and it was clear that the Scott City player was NOT going for the ball and intentionally fouled Conner. He was not called for an intentional foul but should have been and should have been ejected from the game.

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 9 years, 10 months ago

This is one of the dirtiest plays in basketball. I can't dunk but I've been undercut a few times going in for *fierce layups and have been lucky to walk away, but not after a wild spin in the air that ends with a loud and absolving thump on the back.

Remember the end of the Missouri game when Robinson was undercut on that layup, he was not undercut hard but it's easy to throw someone off balance, especially if they are on the way up. That's just physics.

The undercut should be evaluate the same as Relefords intentional the other night. Even if he didn't mean the elbow, or if it was the lightest touch. The undercut should be an intentional as well, even if the player uses the rim to save themselves (think Jared Haase getting undercut and being perpendicular to the floor holding the rim v. Missouri sometime in the 90's)

I hope that he will be OK. If he is concussed then he should take a few weeks off and relax. Too often people return too quickly from concussions, for a young guy like Frankhamp, with a still developing brain, he should take time to make himself whole again. There should be no rush.

FearlessJayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Don't kid yourself. This may be the most difficult test KU will have all year. KU is going to have to lock down on defense early and not let up. Texas has some athletes that are capable of putting up big numbers. This game worries me.

Boouk 9 years, 10 months ago

KU's most difficult test will be in the NCAA Tournament or at KSU next week.

Boouk 9 years, 10 months ago

I miss the days when this game was always a great matchup that everyone circled on the calendar when Texas had players like Augustine, Abrams, Durant, and LaMarcus Aldrich.

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 10 months ago

Barnes is a close second to Drew when it comes to coaching-down great talent.

Robert Brock 9 years, 10 months ago

My fear is that the Hawks will have trouble scoring. Grind it out, KU!!!!!!!!!!

Boouk 9 years, 10 months ago

Not that Dodds cares about any sport other than football, but is Barnes on the hot-seat? Wonder if Danny Manning or Larry Brown would be candidates for the job if they fire Barnes.

Michael Auchard 9 years, 10 months ago

No news about the Frankamp injury? C'mon, LJWorld!

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 10 months ago

I don't know how long it has been there, but there is a story on his injury with video that I saw about 11:00.

skijamin 9 years, 10 months ago

Going to see my first live game in over 20 years! Will be sporting KU blue today! (I guess moving to Texas has one benefit.)

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

"On Barnes--Not Every Coach Can Be a Genius, But That Doesn't Mean They're Chopped Liver Either"

Part 1

Self dishes professional curtesy here. He senses yet another colleague in danger of being sacked. He gets on record defending yet another coach's competance.

Self has reason to support Barnes. Barnes has apparently joined the "right way" vanguard. And his recruiting has apparently suffered accordingly the last couple of years. Now the costs of walking the talk are being felt, as Self and Consonants and others have felt them, too.

Not every coach is a genius. But just because a coach is not a genius does not mean he is an incompetant.

Rick Barnes has gone through a lot of talented players without winning a ring--it is true, but he has been to 17 straight March Madnesses, and he reached three of those with Clemson. Not every coach can reach the Madness at Clemson.

More significantly, however, for a long time before Rick Barnes coached Texas, few coaches could reach the Madness at Texas. Look at this list of Texas head coaches and ask yourself how much tradition Rick Barnes had to build on, when he took the Texas job?

Magnus Mainland (1905–1907) No team (1907–1908) W. E. Metzenthin (1908–1911) J. Burton Rix (1911–1912) Carl Taylor (1912–1913) L. Theo Bellmont (1913–1915) Roy Henderson (1915–1916) Eugene Van Gent (1916–1917) Roy Henderson (1917–1919) Berry Whitaker (1919–1920) L. Theo Bellmont (1920–1922) Milt Romney (1922–1923) E. J. Stewart (1923–1927) Mysterious Walker (1927–1931) Ed Olle (1931–1934) Marty Karow (1934–1936) Jack Gray (1936–1942) Bully Gilstrap (1942–1945) Jack Gray (1945–1951) Slue Hull (1951–1956) Marshall Hughes (1956–1959) Harold Bradley (1959–1967) Leon Black (1967–1976) Abe Lemons (1976–1982) Bob Weltlich (1982–1988) Tom Penders (1988–1998) Rick Barnes (1998– )

In the modern era, say since the 1980s, Texas has been coached by Abe Lemmons, Bob Weltlich, Tom Penders, and Rick Barnes. Lemmons, though he was a kind of comic genius, and a maverick explorer of unstructured play, crafted no winning tradition worth building on. Lemmons had one good year in 1977! Bob Weltlich? Not one reached the NCAA tourney and he was 61-98. Tom Penders is what passes for a successful coach in the Texas basketball legacy. Penders "turned it around." He went to 8 Madnesses in ten season. And then 4 players went to DeLoss Dodds with complaints of abuse, while it surfaced the Luke Axtell quit the team for abuse, only to have his academic records improperly released subsequently by a Penders assistant. So the best we can say about the Tom Penders era is that Texas had some success, but it ended badly and the program was a conflicted mess when Barnes took it over.

Many forget that Texas was NOT one of the elite programs, until Barnes took it over and built into one.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Part 2

I detested Barnes for many seasons, because I saw him as part of the vanguard of butcher ballers along with Tom Izzo, Bob Huggins and others. I still detest this aspect of Rick Barnes' approach to the game. But since the referees pattern of calling games has normalized this kind of play, and Bill Self has in effect chosen to become the leper with the most fingers, by playing this way, when the opponent wants to play this way, I have no choice but to acknowledge it as the new normal and stop judging Barnes solely on the basis of my dislike for this way of playing the game (which I still detest, by the way).

What I see in Barnes is a very good coach, but not a genius--a guy who can get guys to play hard and win a lot of games, but maybe not beat the best unless he has sharply better talent by a significant margin.

College basketball has always had a coaching tier of good but not genius coaches. It is normal to have such a tier. Perhaps the best way to judge the quality of a profession, at any given time, is not by its number of geniuses, but by the number of its good but not genius coaches. How far do they raise the level of play for the geniuses to have to rise above?

While its true Rick Barnes has not been able to beat Bill Self very often, and when he has it seems it was because he had an unfair advantage, Rick Barnes has challenged Bill Self probably as much as any coach in the conference during Self's tenure. And Rick Barnes assistant, Frank Haith, certainly put a sweat on Bill Self last season.

Rick Barnes has made Bill Self have to keep getting better; that to me is a sign of a very, very, very good coach, when, or not, Barnes has the ability to rise above Bill Self.

All genius coaches have kept many very good coaches in their shadows.

For ten years, Cal's Pete Newell and USC's Sam Clancy kept John Wooden in the shadows.

For ten years, John Wooden overshadowed Bob Boyd.

Phog Allen overshadowed lots of coaches, but especially Jack Gardner at KSU. Even though Gardner won big. Allen won the ring. Gardner never did.

Knight forced many fine coaches, especially Gene Keady, into his shadow.

Dean Smith? Good lord. Even Frank McGuire could not get out of it, when McGuire returned to the game to coach South Carolina and see if he could beat his former pupil. Norm Sloan at NC State even won a ring with David Thompson, Monte Towe, and Tommy Burleson, and he could not escape the second banana role to Dean.

Rick Barnes is a good coach.

Self is right to lend him some moral support.

Self is right to be afraid of Barnes before today's game and down the road.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Part 3

It is wise to remember that seeming non-geniuses, if they make certain pivotal discoveries about what they are doing wrong, like John Wooden finally did after getting kicked around by Pete Newell and Sam Clancy for ten years, can become bonafide geniuses that get on rolls.

Further, whether or not Barnes makes such a break through, just because a coach is not a genius does not imply he is chopped liver.

But perhaps most importantly from KU's and Self's standpoint, KU and Self have to view Texas and Rick Barnes some what as the USA views certain competing countries and their leaders. Yes, we are in an advantageous position with them, but we best not crow about it, because we don't want to risk triggering regime change that might lead to an disadvantageous situation.

Rock Chalk!

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 9 years, 10 months ago

If you edited your posts down and then tried to provide some evidence for you opinions they would be much more insightful.

monkeehawkSL8 9 years, 10 months ago

jaybate believes his or her opinions are facts. Sad but true, this is a fact. That's my opinion.

On a side note, the jaybate bobble head day has been canceled. The heads on the dolls are so big they fall off the body.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

"What I see in Barnes is a very good coach ..."

jb: That stuck out to me in your post (in context). If you were just comparing him to Scott Drew, I would see your point. But otherwise, I just don't see it. I do not believe that he is near that second tier of coaches. I view coaching as a triangle of responsibilities.. recruiting, x's and o's, and team building.

Barnes strikes me as a decent recruiter, an average x's and o's guy, and very poor team builder.

Drew, for example, is a horrible x's and o's guy. I had mentioned to one poster who thought Drew was good coach that he might compare Boeheim's 2-3 zone to Drew's and that would end the discussion.

With Barnes, we have seem many of his teams collapse. Really, they have imploded. Texas lacks a coach that inspires the players to play for the team, to focus on a greater purpose, to work to continue to work to get better. The signs from his years at Texas are clear. Teams that have talent and can play well in stretches usually lack a coach that can actually coach, or they lack chemistry. Chemistry is not something that just happens in sports most of time. It is a coach that molds it. I see a guy who lacks the intangibles that "very good" coaches have. He does not build "team" and he does not build "chemistry." He does not provide focus. He does not effectively motivate.

His teams largely underachieve. They get worse later in the season. It's a pattern. There is a reason for that pattern. He has not won one Big 12 tournament championship.

I think you give him far too much credit. In the Big 12 right now, other than Self, I'd take Kruger, Weber, Ford, Hoiberg, Huggins, Johnson and possibly even Fletcher (recruiting ability his question) over Barnes. The only one I clearly wouldn't is Scott Drew.

It's because he fails in team building (motivation, focus, chemistry, etc.).

Think of it this way .. of the other Big 12 coaches, which ones do you think would do better than Barnes if they were the head coach at Texas? Pretty much everyone. Heck, the way Drew recruits at Baylor, I think even he'd do better at Texas.

Sure, he'll challenge because he's a decent recruiter and not too bad of an in-game, x's and o's guy. So his teams will be there and will be good. But the rest of the package is what's lacking in my opinion.

I'm no "buyer" of Barnes. I'm a seller. I agree with ict .. I'd rather Barnes get canned, get a better coach in there, so we can develop a solid competitor in the Big 12. As it is, it will be a rotation each year as a opposed to a true perennial challenger.

bayareajhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Your point about Drew and Boeheim would be valid if Baylor only played the 2-3 zone like Syracuse. They don't. They mix defenses regularly. If you pay attention to what Drew does, he likes to install a new defense and new offensive sets after the regular season but before the conference tournament. Then the Bears blitz the other teams with "better" coaches who aren't ready for it. Drew installed the 2-3 a few years ago in the week between the season and the conference tournament. It took them to the Elite 8 where they were a couple of blown calls away from beating Duke and going to the Final 4.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

bay: You have a valid point there .. teams that don't run the zone all the time, won't run it as well.

And you are absolutely right on the robbery from Baylor. That was the season that Duke got the incredibly favorable regional, probably shouldn't have been a number 1 seed. I made multiple comments on conspiracy theories after that game, and I believe firmly the fix was in. It was way too obvious. If we take care of UNI, perhaps we could have had something to say about it.

But I stand by my view that Scott Drew is a very poor x's and o's coach.

bayareajhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree with you that Drew is a poor x's and o's coach. If he wants to be taken seriously as a great coach he needs to get much better in that area. Until then, he needs to ensure that he has some strong tactical minds on the sideline with him.

I do like the way he introduces dramatic new wrinkles for the postseason, though. It is an interesting approach. It is a way of compensating for his inability to run a consistently efficient offense or defense during the regular season. He doesn't make many adjustments during the year so by the end of the conference season everyone knows how to play them. Our guys actually knew their plays last Monday! Drew knows his team will be more effective in the postseason running an unscouted system they have just learned. He knows the Tournament has a large element of crapshoot to it and this is how he raises his odds. He surprises you. The first time he did it, I thought he was desperate. And maybe he was. But now I have seen him do it several times.

I like it. I think he sacrifices a higher chance of winning games at the end of the conference season for a higher chance of winning games in the Tournament. I wouldn't want KU to do that because they don't need gimmicks and it's better to be consistently excellent. But for a team like Baylor, when he has young talent every year, I think it's creative and kind of awesome.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago


Maybe I went too Taylor Swift on the verys. :-)

But 17 straight Madnesses qualifies him as a very good coach amongst all coaches and three straight at Clemson without cheating could almost qualify for the BHOF. :-) Just joking.

I agree that Kruger and Hoiberg do more with less talent in their tanks.

But a coaching is a constellation of tasks and Barnes has gotten to the dance 17 straight.

Regarding getting Barnes replaced, I will only say be careful what you wish for.

Texas has $7.2 Billion endowment and is part of a larger $16 Billion endowment. Their alums are richer than our alums given their numbers. Were they to decide to fully commit to basketball the way they do to football year in and year out, we could very quickly be at a disadvantage. I say let the bear sleep. I am all for getting some great coaches in the league; that's why I love Hoiberg really pushing Self outside his comfort zone, which so far he does every meeting. Self is going ot have to learn very fast, or Fred's going to get some talent in Ames and hang some Ls on us. But that's what the game is about. So I'm with you in wanting good coaches to improve the breed. But I just don't want them created at a school with such an extreme structural advantage over us, as Texas holds in money, recruiting base, and television network broadcasting power.

bayareajhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Enjoyable read and good take. This is a point I was trying to make during the Scott Drew discussion the other day. There are many excellent coaches who are not as good as/have losing records against Bill Self. They are still excellent, however, in the grand scheme of things.

I am curious as to why you give Barnes credit for building a program at Texas but don't give Drew credit for doing just as well in a much tougher situation. I assume it is because Barnes seems well-liked by his peers while Drew (to paraphrase you), "refuses to be a mensch in the handshake line with Self." I need to think more about how important I think that should be.

Your final point about Texas possibly being more dangerous without Barnes is telling. Texas should be an easy place to win, especially now that the state is churning out top prospects every year. Would anybody ever think that Baylor would be more dangerous under some other coach? I highly doubt it.

Finally, I don't think Barnes's recruiting has changed all that much. He went hard after the new talent that emerged up in Canada and he got them all. That was a huge recruiting coup, and landed him Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, and Myck Kabongo. The problem is that he didn't get anything out of them. Thompson had a good freshman season and was gone. Joseph went pro that same year after a freshman season of coming off the bench! Kabongo stayed for his sophomore year but was ruled ineligible. This has crushed his team. Remember how bad KU was the season after Pierce surprised Roy by going pro early? That was the year Ryan Robertson was asked to be Paul Pierce. Funnily enough, it didn't really work. That is what has happened to Barnes now for two years in a row.

Would Barnes devote all of those recruiting resources to these kids if he could do it over again? I doubt it. He basically only got three freshman years out of three future pros and his team has suffered for it. That is why he made the comment about our seniors and their plans coming into college. He is really just cursing the Canadians for not staying in school to get better and win a few games in the process.

741hawk 9 years, 10 months ago

After 10 years at UCLA., Wooden figured out how to recruit illegally . . . and get away with it.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Been around this barn many times. If he did figure this out, and there is some evidence that he did, it was because he decided that if he couldn't beat Cal/Newell and Clancy/USC, he might as well join them. And then look what happened when he leveled the playing field with them. He wiped them out.

Next, there is not much evidence on the record suggesting that Wilt played at KU with cash under the table, I don't recall there has never been a coach, or player, or reporter, or Wilt himself, from that era that has gone on record and flatly claimed he received no cash under the table to play at KU. Maybe someone will correct me here and give quotes properly sourced that prove me wrong, but I just doubt that very many top players from the 1950s to 1990 were playing without cash under the table.

Or that any great players from the 1950s to 1990, when Colllege Sports, Inc., was written and documented how wide spread and how much was being paid to players in the 20 year period prior to 1990.


dylans 9 years, 10 months ago

So far I've only seen one coach on the opposing sideline that I was genuinely interested in. This was over a decade ago a young Bill Self was coaching Tulsa and I was slightly jealous in spite of having Roy. Rick Barnes is a serviceable coach, but not one I would want on the Jayhawk sideline. I don't mind him at Texas as he attracts top talent, but is very beatable (even when you have far less talent).

Theonlythingthatexceedsyourbad 9 years, 10 months ago

@ Texas - big game.

Will B-Mac have half a leg to stand on?
Yes. Hunger absolves many small pains.

Texas plays man and 2-3. Who can zone-bust, catch-turn-and-face? Will they sink off Young again? Can Young make an open free throw in the zone or even man? Yes.

Will Texas try something different on defense? After all they are 0-3 in the Big 12. Although, 2 of those loses have come in overtime, so it's not like they were blown out in all the games. I predict that Texas will use a new zone against us. Either the triangle and 2 (B-Mac and EJ) or something with a one man point, like a 3-2. Who knows? It shouldn't really matter what D they play - if we take it to them with intensity and focus - this is the game we bring it back - we win.

Texas makes the NCAA tourney . . . after an 0-4 start in the conference. Go Jayhawks!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

This from the KC Star today on Ellis --- If Ellis is learning to strike the balance between comfort and aggressiveness, it could be coming at the right time. During most of January, opposing defenses have collapsed on senior center Jeff Withey in the paint, leaving forward Kevin Young all alone on the high post. And Ellis may be the best-equipped power forward to knock down 15-foot jumpers — and keep defenses honest. “I think he’s the best we have at that,” Self said. “The way that people have played us, even Perry the other day, they dared him to shoot. When he gets confidence in everything, he’ll make two out of those three, and that will be so important to open up things for Jeff.”

We've discussed here a bit that dynamic .. that teams are collapsing off of KY in the high-low, and he's not knocking down the 15 footer from elbow to elbow. That eliminates the KY driving, and eliminates the pass to Withey. KY has to take and hit the 15 footer. Self says that "to open things up for Jeff", Ellis needs to hit 2 of 3 .. well KY does, too.

Ellis has demonstrated that he needs to avoid the baseline 6-15 foot shots .. not his forte right now. But I'd like to see him more at the free throw line on offense (high), and see if he can knock down that shot.

KY has been such a vital part of this team, but there's a window there for Ellis to crawl through if he wants to grab more minutes.

If Ellis keeps up the progress, a 20 point game is not unthinkable.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

I said early this season that Kevin has to play better than Perry to stay the starter.

If things are even, then Self will develop Perry as much as possible for the simple reason that Perry will be back next year and Kevin won't. Kevin understands the calculus for sure. Kevin would never had been starting if Perry had not flopped so badly in the beginning and had to kind of go back to square one to rebuild. But Perry couldn't get it together and Kevin has a very complementary kind of game for Jeff, even though everyone (including Kevin) wishes he were shooting it better from the top of the circle.

But here's the thing, KY is better than Perry in every way but shooting right now, and even there everything is still sizzle with Perry on the shooting.

What I think is really going on here is not that Self wants to demote Kevin at all. What he wants to do is try to find some kind of a role that Perry can play as a freshman, so that Self can afford rest Kevin.

Against the teams KU can't separate on, Kevin plays 30 mpg and Self knows that cannot continue in the 2 game in three day format that continues through conference and the Madness. Self HAS to find a backup 4 that can play 20 minutes in one of the 2 in 3 day games, so that Kevin can go 30-35 if necessary in the other.

Self knows if he can get a little better shooter out their for 15-20 mpg at the top of the circle it will loosen things up for Jeff, but much more for Ben, and it will help the team against any 2-3 zones it runs into, which are sure to come.

Self tried AW3 at the 4, but he just doesn't have the defensive chops at this point to chase star 4s inside and out.

So: Perry, who has repeatedly shown he is ineffectual jumping and finishing at the rim against big strong guys, is essentially being tried at the position AW3 was offered but could not fulfill because of defensive liabilities.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

This is a classic case of Self trying for a time to ramp a guys game up to a level that would help the team in one role (power forward inside), finally giving up on that plan, and restringing the bow to make use of what Perry does have to give. Perry can now guard horizontally and he increasingly evidences a knack for glass vaccing. Plus he has the natural scorer attribute, even though this year he is not strong enough to do it at the rim against D1 sized bigs. So: Self is about to see if he can take Perry away from the basket more, get him comfortable making two of three from the top of the circle in 20 minutes of play one game and maybe 10-15 minutes of play in the second game.

It should work.

And Perry feeling like he finally has a role he can fulfill should spike his confidence and he may even loosen up enough to shake free for some lane drives from out front that he probably can finish on.

Bravo, Coach Self, for finally restringing the bow.

Now, all we need is for Perry to hit those 2 of 3 from outside, and to continue getting better on defense, and this dog will hunt.

Brian Powell 9 years, 10 months ago

I shouldn't be worried about this game, but I am.. Planets aligned for us to possibly take a loss on a tough away venue. They're due, we're due.

But I hope it doesn't turn out that way and we crush them!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.