Saturday, January 26, 2013

Kruger, Sooners to challenge Kansas for Big 12 lead

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger speaks with Buddy Hield during a second-half break in an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Morgantown, W.Va. Oklahoma won 67-57.

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger speaks with Buddy Hield during a second-half break in an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Morgantown, W.Va. Oklahoma won 67-57.


Some might consider it shocking that Kansas University and Oklahoma will be playing for first place in the Big 12 Conference today.

Lon Kruger’s second OU team (13-4 overall), which was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 preseason basketball coaches poll after placing eighth in 2011-12, enters a 3 p.m. battle in Allen Fieldhouse with a 4-1 record in league play.

The Sooners are tied with Baylor and Kansas State and just a game behind preseason-favorite KU (17-1, 5-0), winner of eight-straight league crowns.

“Every game in conference is a battle for first place. That’s how we are taking it,” said KU senior forward Travis Releford. He scored 12 points in Tuesday’s 59-55 victory at Kansas State, which also was billed as a battle for the top spot in the league. “Oklahoma is a good team. They are very athletic. It’s going to be a tough game,” Releford added.

The Sooners — they went 15-16 overall and 5-13 in the league last season — are back on track under the direction of 60-year-old Kruger, who is trying to become the first coach in history to lead five schools (Kansas State, Florida, Illinois, UNLV, Oklahoma) to the NCAA Tournament.

“Consistency ... he’s the same all the time, at least from the outside looking in,” KU coach Bill Self said, asked what makes his predecessor at Illinois so effective.

“He is cool on the bench, which I’m sure translates to practices. His players know that he cares about them and he has a great way with people. He’s not an emotional roller coaster like I can be sometimes. He’s pretty low key and stable. He’s a terrific coach,” Self added.

Silver Lake native Kruger, who has a 507-323 record in 27 seasons, also is a stellar recruiter.

“When I went to Illinois in 2000, they had only won two Big 10 titles since the 60s or early 70s — 1984 and ‘98 — and that was one of Lon’s teams,” Self said. “The guys he left behind ... he left us guys,” Self exclaimed, rattling off the names of McDonald’s All-Americans Marcus Griffin, Frank Williams, Brian Cook, Sergio McClain as well as Robert Archibald and Lucas Johnson among others.

“It was a perfectly built Big 10 type team. I never once said a negative word about inheriting that situation at all because it was all positive,” Self added. “He loved those kids and was 100 percent supportive of us.”

This year’s OU team has double-digit scorers in Romero Osby, a 6-8 senior from Meridian, Miss., who averages 14.5 points and 6.5 rebounds; Steven Pledger, a 6-4 senior who averages 11.0 ppg and Amath M’Baye, a 6-9 junior who averages 10.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.

“They’ve recruited well. Guys who have given us fits like Fitzgerald (Andrew, 6-8, senior, 5.6 ppg) are coming off the bench. They are more athletic, deeper and they are young and have energy and really guard,” Self said. “They are sound defensively.”

KU, which is 17-4 versus OU since the formation of the Big 12, has won 11 straight against the Sooners in Allen Fieldhouse. OU’s last victory here came as an unranked team in 1993 — an 80-77 win over the No. 6 Jayhawks. KU overall has won nine in a row in the series.

“The (No. 3-ranked) Jayhawks are very good — a top-three or four team in the country right now,” said Kruger, who is 5-12 versus KU, including 0-2 while at OU; Self is 10-3 against OU, 10-1 while at KU. “They’ve got a lot of very good players and Allen Fieldhouse is a great atmosphere. We’ll have to do things better on both ends of the floor; maintain our composure, move the ball, try to limit them to one shot each time down and do a good job taking care of it on our end.”

M’Baye, a transfer from Wyoming who hails from Bordeaux, France and was named Big 12 preseason newcomer of the year, said KU is, “a very, very, very tough team. They had many consecutive home wins (32), but I’m definitely confident in our team. It’s going to be a big test for us, but it’s also going to be a lot of fun. That’s what the Big 12 is all about. Hopefully we can pull off an upset.”

Osby, who is ranked second in league games in scoring (19.2 ppg), said: “They’re a top-three team in the country and they’re not rated there by mistake. We’ve just got to come out and play as hard as we can possibly play, take care of the ball, rebound the ball and just get some things to go in our favor.”

115 years: KU will host its 115 years of basketball celebration during the KU-TCU game on Feb. 23 in Allen. Former KU coaches, players and managers will be recognized at halftime. In honor of the 25th anniversary of the 1988 national championship, the 2012-13 Jayhawks will wear retro ‘88 uniforms and warmups. Former KU/NBA great JoJo White will autograph his book “Make It Count” before the game in the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.

Following the game, there will be an invitation-only dinner for the former KU coaches, players and managers. 

No. 800 is today: Today’s game will be the 800th regular-season KU men’s basketball game contested in Allen. KU is 692-107 in the building. Self’s teams are 155-7 in Allen for a 95.7 winning percentage. The Jayhawks are 101-1 in the last 102 games. Self has won more conference titles (eight) than lost home games (seven) while at KU. KU has won 63 consecutive games in Allen Fieldhouse against non-conference foes.

Coaches wear sneakers: Both coaching staffs will wear sneakers with their suits in honor of the Coaches vs. Cancer program sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

All kind of ways to win: KU sophomore Naadir Tharpe on KU scoring — and winning — in the 50s and 60s the last four games:

“We will not always score in the 70s. We’ll score in the 50s. We have to take it how the game goes,” Tharpe said. “It shows we can do it a majority of ways. We don’t have to score a lot of points every game. Points do not win the game. Defense is what everybody cares about.”

Of OU, he said: “I anticipate them coming in ready to play. I feel they will come in feeling they can win this game, which everybody comes in thinking. We can’t let them gain confidence, especially in our building. We have to come at them first.”

Jackson to China: Former KU forward Darnell Jackson has signed to play for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association, reports. Jackson had been playing for Reno in the NBA Development League.


actorman 9 years, 10 months ago

I've always thought of Lon Kruger as a class act. A nice guy to root for -- when he's not going against KU, of course.

Steve Reigle 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm old enough to have watched him play at the old Ahern Fieldhouse in Manhattan. He was a very good player and I believe he's a quality coach, as well.

kufaninmo 9 years, 10 months ago

no, i think they stepped in for mizzou just fine.

KansasComet 9 years, 10 months ago

OU is capable and extremely athletic. This is not the same OU team of the last few years. We have been tested by physical teams, three point shooting teams, and now it is time to get tested by a high flying team. The key is to keep them out of the lane. Solid Defense and rebounding in both ends of the court will win this one for us.

KGphoto 9 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, we have a little something for them in the lane.

Hawk to Rock: Jeff Withey

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Don't hold back - tell us how you really feel.
(Btw - I feel the same about Misswho, Ohio State and every ACC team.)

jhox 9 years, 10 months ago

It can vary from year to year, but OU usually has some of the best looking cheerleaders. To rank them behind "Kitty-State"...that's real hatred right there.

kufaninmo 9 years, 10 months ago

i'd still plow em though. i mean, hey, why not...i've done worse.

John Mueller 9 years, 10 months ago

Self has won more conference Championships 8, than lost home games, 7, during his tenure.

The next time anyone has the slightest criticism of Bill Self on this board, post your résumé first.

That is a level of professional success, consistency and outright excellence that is almost impossible to comprehend.

Rock Chalk

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

"The next time anyone has the slightest criticism of Bill Self on this board, post your résumé first."

He is God. He is perfect. You are his servant.

Of course, there are those UNI and VCU things -- losing to inferior teams on the most important stage, the latter with the national championship right there on a silver platter in front of you. But I would not be one to criticize lest I be struck down by a crimson and blue bolt of lightning .....

So I bow, and shuffle off humbly in great reverence.

jhox 9 years, 10 months ago

He's not quite perfect. He's at least a half step behind Jesus Christ.

mejayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I assume you're speaking strictly of land-based locomotion. In his heart of hearts, I doubt even Bruce Weber really believes HCBS walks on water. And while we're on the subject, how many conf. titles did Jesus win? Zero. That's how many. Why? Because all his recruits were short nerdy guys in sandals, who were always talking about peace and love. In short, hippies!

(Sorry to offend anyone. Just being playful)

Robert Murphy 9 years, 10 months ago

Remember when Jesus turned water into wine. I'd of thought a lot more of him if he hadn't done it.

mejayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Not to mention rising from the dead. That sets a bad precedent, vis-a-vis zombies.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago


This is a great insight of yours and that scripture has always bugged me some too. I am a firm believer in JC, though I also want everyone else to believe what they want, so long as it don't hurt nobody.

But I also am a firm believer in reading between the lines of a book that has been variably rewrit by the winners for now on 2K years and 13.

Winners have a lot of good things about them, but bein' honest about how they won and keeping the good book translated proper like and not rewrit to serve there agenda, just aint' one of the strengths of winners, if you know what I mean.

Now the way I read between the lines on this here water into wine story is this. Some time after JC left this mortal coil, some of the Christian churches built on his memory seized on an idea for building flock dependence, for reducing sickness from bad water through corking fermented grape juice, and making a goodly heap of money selling it to their flocks.

This clergy realized that there was mention made of an entertaining stretcher or two in the good book about wine bein' made from water, and wine bein' the blood of Christ, and so forth, and so they said, well, dang, let's jest put an extra emphasis on these here wine stretchers in the good book and say they was in fact the literal truth, not just educational myths for makin' certain points about the power and goodness of god. Let's jest tell the flock, note that some of them probably still called them cattle, too, probably, that, well, all that stuff in the good book about wine was plum real and that they better drink their dang wine we make and sell them, if they want to be good Christians. Ya follah?

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

So: what ah thinks is that there is certain edifyin' meaning behind the myth of JC turnin' water into wine, but that he didn't actually do that in reality in his spare time. Rather, that story was first used as some sizzle to attract folk to his more profound but less dramatic messaging. Like do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and having to love your enemies to make it all work here on earth.

IMHO, JC, or someone, clearly used lots of sizzle to hold them in the tent, as Oral Roberts might have said. You know. Like about the rich man having a tough go of getting into heaven by relatin' it to a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Now, that was a pure populist play to poor folk that are tired of being screwed by rich folk. But I always reckoned that JC understood that when you are doing the work of the almighty right here on earth, there are tradeoffs that have to be made to get the message across in a timely fashion. He only had 32 years or so to git her done.

And what with a Roman emperor being a Christian within a hundred years or so of his death, well, I feel like JC did his best for the big guy, as in he got the message around and all the way to the top, whether or not we fallible humans made proper use of it.

All fer now.

Yours very truly,


P.S.: Fer any folk that believe in a literal translation of the bible, please forgive me for writing about this. And I so believe in every persons right to view the good book in whatever way that suits them, that if I have offended anyone please feel free to say, well, jaybate means well, but he's just a iggggorant dunce when it comes to the good book. I will take it kindly and without offense.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

"Saturday, Realignment Confusion Reaches Epidemic Levels, and Lon"

• Tait's story on Realignment exposed that most board rats STILL cannot explain why so many schools make realignment choices that suboptimize football TV revenues and conference pie slice size. My hypothesis that realignment choice is conditioned first on regional political economic alliance building and only secondarily on football TV revenue optimization remains the only hypothesis that explains the frequent choice of schools to suboptimize football TV revenues and conference pie slice size. The usually reliable BigManU epitomized the confusion, when he surrendered reason and called my hypothesis a conspiracy theory. I assert a hypothesis, not a theory. And my hypothesis proposes no conspiracy whatsoever. I assert regional alliance building typical in the political economy, when ever a major regional/national infrastructure is being developed. No conspiracy whatever. Period. My hypothesis is increasingly the last hypothesis standing. It fits the facts. It keeps making reliable predictions but for a few exceptions. And I keep revising it for those cases. My hypothesis keeps getting closer to explaining things. Again, the key to it is it explains why schools keep making suboptimizing choices about football TV revenues and conference pie slice size. Next.

• Lon will be the best coaching challenge yet for Self's weirdest and most wonderful offense yet. I am referring of course to "the judo" offence aka "slide off the spots when they push and push off the spots when they pull" offense. The Judo Offence makes the most of KU's skinny men. It also makes use of this year's new continuously variable offensive/defensive transmission, where tempo keeps being altered to keep the opponent out of rhythm. But not everything is new. Unreported sickness and injuries continue. What in the world will Lon do? Being an Okie Baller par excellence, he will take what Self gives. If Self wants to vary tempo, Lon will vary it even more. This game should really be a herky jerky tempo. Slow, fast, kinda slow, squirt out, hurry, slow down. On defense, if I'm Lon, I don't push, or pull. I defend KU straight up, but force Ben to his left into some help. I also dont let my defense spread out. Keep it tight for help, and give KU the trey. On offence, I attack EJ/Dir; that is where KU is weakest and that is the link in the chain to break. Put EJ and Dir on the floor. Second I attack whoever has the flu this game. Withey had the unreported flu last game. At least one or two will this game. Attack the sick and injured.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

jb: I, too, have not bought totally into your realignment hypothesis. But as you may have noticed, I haven't criticized it. That's because I have no other rationale explanation. I've pretty much kept my mouth shut on the topic because I don't think I have a better "macro" thought on the topic.

However, the one explanation that seems to guide men -- in their pursuits of younger women (that get men in hot water professionally and in their personal lives over and over) and in many other phases of life -- is testosterone. Maybe not technically the chemical within our bodies, but the idea that we're simply going to conquer the next challenge. We're going to best the guy next to us. It happens in boardrooms, it happens everywhere. Many a corporate merger or takeover has been built on such precepts.

I see that some in conference realignment. The progress seems irrational, perhaps because it is. It may not be based on logic. It may simply be based in large part on the age old concept of moving on to the next conquest, and besting the guy next to you. Money may be secondary sometimes to who is bigger and badder.

However, I have nothing to dispel your suggestion of "regional alliance building." I think, though, that the testosterone thing has a role.

FinalFour1993 9 years, 10 months ago

Dead right. Machismo. That's the catalyst.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago


Anything is still possible. I like your introduction of testosterone/competition driven human error, because it could explain some of the sub-optimization going on.

And it would be operational in any hypothesis that attempts to explain the mechanisms and dynamics that drive realignment choices--mine or others.

The question you trigger in my mind, of course, is why would such human error tend to yield realignment choices so closely fitting with the needs of red and blue agendas regarding regional political economic agendas? Early on it seemed explained by coincidence. But the Big Ten taking Rutgers and Maryland, as I expected, and now targeting Virginia too? The coincidences just keep piling up as facts that fit my hypothesis.

But there is also a problem with the competitive/testosterone driven human error approach to address before including it. I always go back to Texas and OU wanting to jump to the Pac10, but not jumping. It seems testosterone and bigger pie slice should have driven them to jump, but it didn't. Why not? What kept them from optimizing? Plenty of testosterone and plenty of increase in pie slice.What stopped them? Only Texas had the big independent TV gig. Not OU. Why didn't OU go? More importantly, why haven't both left repeatedly for greener pastures?

And how does the testosterone/competition driver explain Notre Dame suboptimizing with the ACC, rather the Big Ten, or the Big 12, or the SEC.

What I like about my hypothesis coupled with your testosterone factor is it might make my hypothesis fit the facts even even better without refuting it.

I will certainly think on it.

But most importantly you have have contributed your healthy skepticism about my hypothesis in a constructive way and pointed out the real key to solving the puzzle. We need more hypotheses, because right now the conventional wisdom is refuted and mine is the only one standing, and a lot of board rats are still saying it can't be true! I welcome all new hypotheses. I am interested only in getting to a valid truthful explanation that fits the facts. More hypotheses will either eclipse mine, or make it stronger.

Rock Chalk, HEM!

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago


May I call you ill? :-)

You've posted frequently about certain of my posts.

Why is that?

Why do you appear to tend to post, when I write about the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas/West Virginia Energy Alliance (TOKWVEA)?

What is it about my writing about energy and distribution infrastructures like the Super Corridor, Northeast Super Corridor Extention, fracking, the Gas Pipe from Grand Bahamas to Florida and its possible right of ways up the eastern seaboard, and about possible correlation between political economic alliance building for energy and distribution infrastructures and conference realignment choices that sets you off?

Are you saying that none of these things exist?

Is there something in particular that irritates you about the idea of red and blue state private oligarchies pursuing red and blue state agendas regarding energy and distribution privatization via the political economy? It wouldn't be a conspiracy, if they were, as far as I can tell? And it wouldn't be illegal, if they were, as far as I can tell.

So: what's the big deal?

I write about lots of things related to basketball, ill, not just about the oil and gas alliance, and energy and distribution infrastructure privatization, etc.

What is it about these particular subjects that sets you off?

Are you in the oil bidness? the gas bidness? the pipeline bidness? the distribution bidness?

What's your hypothesis on what drives realignment?

I am looking for a hypothesis that explains the realignment phenomenon. You can add to mine, or postulate your own. We need hypotheses in order to test them and find a fitting explanation.

Postulate away. :-)

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

JayDogger, I am pushing my hypothesis precisely to get thinking persons like you and HEM to weigh in on this issue. Its plumb okay with me that you two disagree with my hypothesis. And I'm willing to listen to and analyse any new hypotheses. My whole point here is that lots of schools are making sub-optimizing choices in their realignment choices, so we have to have a hypothesis that explains that. We have to let go of the conventional wisdom that universities and conferences make choices solely based on optimizing TV revenues and pie slice size, not because its conventional, but because its no longer wisdom. They aren't doing it in most cases. Therefore, there has to be another driver. If you and HEM think Testosterone driven error explains it all, then that certainly at the very least recognizes the sub-optimizing choices going on.

Now, as I pointed out to HEM above, I am not totally convinced that Testosterone driven suboptimization adequately explains all of the sub-optimization choices, nor all of the optimization choices, but at least it is a valid addition to the analytical process here. Thanks for weighing in.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

oooh and your fake quotes are such a nice touch. :-)

Illbastardita, el disinformista el smearartista, strikes again.

I love having you here. The more you post like this the more the community gets to learn about the techniques and so grow immune to them.

Rock Chalk ! :-)

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Well, I'm always willing to take an alias at his word.

If you say you are "...a disinformer employed by the shoe companies to orchestrate a smear campaign to stop one man clever enough thwart our plans for world domination," then who am I to disagree? :-)

KGphoto 9 years, 10 months ago

I suppose both you and HEM could be correct here since money and "manhood" are basically interchangeable, once you get to a certain age anyway. Most of these high rollers are of that age and have a bolt-on money clip where the manhood used to be.

Money = Power = Aphrodisiac

DCLawHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

There is a name for a hypothesis that has to keep changing to fit exceptions: false.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

I agree completely. That's why we have to either amend, or junk, the hypothesis that schools and conferences are making realignment decisions based on optimizing football TV revenues and pie slice size.

And that's why I have amended my hypothesis from time to time. By

And by gosh, they taught me that was part of the scientific method where I went to graduate school. Pose a hypothesis. If it works pretty good, then revise the parts of it that don't work so good, and then keep-ah testin'.

Weren't you not introduced to no scientific methodology, nor even any systematic thinkin', there DCLawHawk?

Its pretty scarey to think that someone with an alias of DCLawHawk doesn't understand that hypotheses are asserted, so they can be tested and then modified in order to achieve elegant explanatory fit. Whew! No wonder things are a little bumfuzzled amidst the national bankruptcy in Washington, DC.

But then again it was lawyers with their meters running that were able to call water boarding not torture, right? :-)

DCLawHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

As IIBastardo nicely demonstrated above, your method omits a crucial step. You have to make a prediction. Without a falsifiable hypothesis, you're just practicing pseudoscience. What you have offered to date in the realignment debate is a bizarre idea about regional politico economic/energy alliances mattering above all else. Colorado leaving the Big 12 does not fit that. Nebraska and Maryland could not be less alike regionally or politically and yet both are or will soon be in the Big 10. Strike two. If you want your hypothesis to be taken seriously, try reconciling past moves AND explaining the next set ahead of time.

And no, it was not lawyers with meters running who defined torture and the legal parameters of various methods. It was government attorneys in the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice. No meters there.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

whoooooooeeee, I sure do love playin' with DCLawHawk and illbastardita.

They are always good fer a work out. :-)

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

If I am OU, I do whatever I can to get Withey in foul trouble. If Withey's out, this may be a different ballgame.

mejayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

...2, 3, 4..."OOOOOOklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains..." Nuff said.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Kansas will send the Boomer Sooner Wagon home wheel-less...KU 80-OU 65.

I do need some fellow poster advice.

Due to scheduling conflicts, I've had to tape a number of games including the last ten in a row..all KU victories that I watched later. I have seen some live victories but I did watch the Michigan State game, a loss. I have no time conflict today but should I tape the game and watch it later? It seems to be working...and frankly, it is a lot less stressful.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated..I'm willing to do anything to help the team. Remember, it's only weird if it doesn't work!!!

mejayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I like to record them and start watching about 15 minutes after the game's start-time. That way, after I FF past all commercials and half time, I get to the end about the same time as the actual game (in real time). I find it less stressful when there are no commercials. In addition to hating being marketed at constantly, I tend to fret during commercials when watching live games.

Duane Rice 9 years, 10 months ago

mejayhawk and oakville should watch the game live and post on I find it calming and you may even have a laugh or 2.

Steve Corder 9 years, 10 months ago

I played against Kruger and can attest that he's every bit the cool competitor coach as he was a player. I think he is the only B12 coach on par with Self.This most likely will be the Hawk's toughest home game.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 10 months ago

Why would you give credit to a guy that basically says another coach is on par with Bill Self, when the coach is not on par with Bill Self?

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

Because I have always held Lon Kruger in very high esteem and view him in many ways Self's equal as a coach. But not in all ways. And so I think Kruger is always going to be a good challenge for Self.

I watched Kruger play a few high school games. I saw him play for Jack Hartman. Jack Hartman, IMHO, is one of the great coaches of all time. He is part of the greatest generation of coaches ever produced by a single coach. Iba and Doyle Parrock produced Don Haskins, Jack Hartman and Eddie Sutton (Hansen, too, but he didn't ever have the record these guys did). Kruger absorbed everything from Hartman. Kruger has been a terrific coach since he began at KSU. He took Florida to a Final Four. He rebuilt Illinois into the program that Self could launch from. Kruger wasn't nearly as as smart of a career manager as Bill Self. Kruger never should have left Florida, or Illinois. But even after his mistakes, he turned UNLV around, and now is mid stream in returning OU to being a major player.

Kruger and Self are the two best examples of Okie Ball coaching. Self is better. But Kruger is exceptional, too.

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 10 months ago

On par with Bill Self...think his 20 plus years of coaching only 2 (ties for conference championships and one final four). He is a decent coach, but he isn't in Bill Self's league.

dynamitehawk 9 years, 10 months ago


Points do win the game.


Andrew Holmes 9 years, 10 months ago

Is it just me or does coach self not like to press to start the game anymore? When we had the string of 30+ blow out games I felt like we had Young and our guards pressing the other teams guards to start the game. Speed up the game early and force turnovers to get a lead then just keep the foot on the gas from there. I understand its conference play now and we have a couple of games a week and legs might be getting a little tired but I'd like to see that press come out again to start the game. And yes I do realize Young will press some throughout the game but I would love to se the press that we put on against Colorado to beat them by 30. On top of using this press to start the game I think it brings energy to the team and I think it gets the offense flowing. It will also help this team who seems to struggle at getting steals in the half court.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago

He quit pressing much during the thicket of games recently. I suspect we will see it some today if he thinks the team is rested up.

mejayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Yep. And I may be misremembering, but I believe HCBS said this recently.

theend 9 years, 10 months ago

Where were you???????

In April, 1988........The infamous night.......KU vs OU for the National Championship????

Me?.......In college in Wisconsin......not a KU fan in sight.......sitting in my efficiency apartment......alone........alternating between hope and anguish........elation and despair. In the end? Heaven,.

PamB700 9 years, 10 months ago

I was living in Chicago. I got so excited that my dog got in trouble for barking! Not from me - from my ex-husband, who could never fully appreciate the Jayhawk experience.

mejayhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

I was working my first of a series of soul-sucking post-grad school jobs for Easman Kodak, watching it alone, in my efficiency apt:)

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

There was an article in the KC Star today where Self referenced that you can have a good offensive team, and score less. There was a note that we are in the top 20 in offensive efficiency scoring 1.13 points per possession. Self said that the "length of the possessions and the way the game goes" can impact scoring.

Of course it can.

But if you are a very good defensive team, and you can increase possessions, that would most likely favor you. That is, if you are outscoring a team "by possession", then (theorically) the more possessions, the bigger the margin.

If you speed up offensively, your points per possession will likely decrease due to the increased risk of missed shot, turnover. Or at least that would make sense. And it would assumably work that way for the opposition.

There are four easy ways that KU can speed up the game.

-Pressure: Ichabodhawk referred to the "press" above. But as Self has said, we don't press. We pressure. And that's what Ichabodhawk means. We can apply pressure in the backcourt that can speed up the opponent. Not all the time. Perhaps every third or fourth possession.

-Break 1: When there is a made basket, the closest Jayhawk throws the ball into the closest Jayhawk. And you go down court. If EJ is near the ball, for example, he grabs it. Young may be closet, he kicks to the wing, hit Young. He can then choose to dribble or pass up court, or kick back to EJ. Very, very easy concepts. The game speeds up.

-Break 2: On a missed basket, we go. Simply pushing the ball up the court. Not letting everyone clear out. Obviously times when this can't occur, but lots when it can.

-Break 3: Secondary break. Actually have a secondary break design that we implement regularly. I'm talking about running special or specific options immediately after the primary break collapes. For this point, I mean a primary break to not only be a break vs. one defender, but also vs. 2 (such as a 3 on 2). Then, if it gets stalled, having immediate, specific options to score quickly. I don't see us doing that. We "set up" our regular offense.

That all being said, I don't really believe that Self wants to speed up the the game. I think Self sees our success coming more from banging it out in fewer possessions. That is, he thinks we can win the possession game, and win is a win. The "muddy" game as he refers to it. He plays this way because he believes it to be the best way to play. Period. Who can really argue?


Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

It is risky, though. Self said in the KC Star article that creating a few more turnovers to baskets would make it seem like the team was "flying around." Respectfully, I don't think it would.

The fewer the possessions, the easier it is for the inferior team to stay in the game. This style of play is more susceptible, too, to losing to the hot shooting team. It's hard to ramp it up on demand.

And I just think that is the paradox with coach Self. We win. We've been to two final fours, and won a title. But we can lose in situations in March that leave us scratching our heads. His scheme -- defense first, value possessions, slug it out, don't turn it over -- and saying he wants to play faster, but he really doesn't mean it -- creates the paradox. He wants to play faster, but with a significant governor on the throttle. Did I say we win?

DCLawHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

HEM, it almost sounds like you are describing Martyball. The Chiefs won more games than any other franchise in the 1990s (yes, including the Cowboys), but never made it to a Super Bowl and to only one AFC Championship playing that style of football. I'm not sure it is a philosophy with HCBS the way it was with Marty Schottenheimer. I just don't think the current team generates as many steals as recent Jayhawks teams. Of course you can run a secondary break off of missed (or made) baskets, but you need an elite point guard to do it well. Look at what happens to UNC/Roy Williams coached teams when they lack such a point guard. I like Elijah, but I wonder if he is good enough at point to run the secondary break on a regular basis.

jaybate 9 years, 10 months ago


I would like to see KU speed it up, but...

That is not the issue you raise here. You raise the issue that a low scoring team with a high points per possession (PPP) should do better by speeding it up if they are a good defensive team.

You are making a linear extrapolation. If your PPP is high at low speed, then speeding it up gets you more trips and that nets you more possessions of high PPP.

Your key assumption is, of course, that PPP is a constant at any speed.

Given this team's problems with ball handling at the point guard especially in both EJ and Dir, it seems pretty likely to me that as this KU team speeds it up, its PPP is going to go down and perhaps sharply.

Self's formula for winning right now has been hold down the trips, raise up the PPP, and make sure the distruption statistic (the sum of strips + blocks divided by TOs) favors KU preferrably both in magnitude and ratio. KU has been able to do this. By doing this, KU's turnover prone point guard ball handling has had its TOs held to 4-6 combined between EJ and Dir, and KU can rely on its own high PPP, at slow speeds, and on driving down the opponent's PPP with Withey and the defense withering the opponents inside shooting percentage. Thus, the only way KU can lose is by another team having a fabulous trey night.

Speeding it up means increasing TOs by EJ and Dir, plus it means Dir, Perry, and jamari have to play more to rest the starters more. This hurts on offense, but more importantly, it hurts on defense. Speeding the tempo means Jeff can't play as many minutes. And the fewer minutes Jeff is on the floor, the fewer minutes KU has of a huge edge in PPP.

I don't think Self plans to stay at a low tempo indefinitely, but I think as long as games are closely packed, which they will be pretty much for the rest of the season and into the tourney, he will always want to play at least one of the two games in three days, at a slow pace that keeps Jeff on the floor as much as possible.

hawkmoon2020 9 years, 10 months ago

I am a daily reader, but a rare blogger. Thought I would chime in on a few things. First, I like to think that I and am the reason KU won the '88 and '08 championships. In '88, I sat in a hotel room, watched the game, and WILLED that team to win. Man, I'm good. Did the same from my living room couch in '88. I WILLED that team to win. Man, I am REALLY good. Of course, I know other KU faithful assisted me and the team by "willing" them to victory, so I won't take all of the credit. Hey, don't we all like to think we have some powerful "mind" effect on the game when watching even from afar? LOL

And OT, I have been trying to find some recent/current videos of our 2013 BB signees' performances this year. Seems YouTube only has old stuff. Can anyone share or guide me to some videos from our signees' current '12-'13 high school season? Any videos out there of Conner's injury?

Rock Chalk!

ironhead80 9 years, 10 months ago

I always rooted for some Big12 teams, when they were the Big 8, I rooted for all of them except mizzary. Lon gives OU a chance of being good but not for long because he will not be there coach three years from now.

PSM 9 years, 10 months ago

An entire article about the two records of KU and OU is obvious and dull. The Wichita Eagle had a much more worthwhile read today:

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