Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kansas basketball unusually offensive so far

Thousands watch as Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins soars in for a jam on a breakaway against Towson during the first half on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Thousands watch as Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins soars in for a jam on a breakaway against Towson during the first half on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University’s basketball team, which led the country in field-goal-percentage defense last year (.361) and has ranked first in the Big 12 in that category in eight of Bill Self’s first 10 seasons in Lawrence, has been amazing on offense through four games of the 2013-14 campaign.

The Jayhawks (4-0) — who scored 88 points versus Towson, 86 against Iona, 94 against Duke and 80 versus Louisiana at Monroe — have cashed 56.8 percent of their floor shots, including 37.5 percent of their threes.

“If you look at our shooting percentages, they’re better than ever so far,” KU coach Bill Self said.

KU hit 60 percent of its attempts in Friday’s 88-58 home victory over Towson.

“We’ve shot 50 percent every game. We don’t do that. We just make sure other teams can’t score. Since we don’t do that anymore, I guess we’ve got to make sure we score,” he added sarcastically.

KU’s four foes have made 42.4 percent of their shots en route to an average of 67.5 points a game.

“Our guys are unselfish, which is good for a group that doesn’t know where their shots are coming from yet out of the offense,” Self said. “We have to have our best players be in attack mode and take advantage of their athletic ability.”

KU had eight crowd-pleasing dunks to Towson’s zero on Friday night.

“It’s how we need to play a lot,” junior guard Naadir Tharpe said, referring to a fast pace that ran the Tigers out of Allen Fieldhouse. “We have a lot of athletic guys on our team. We need to get out and run. That’s what coach wants. That’s what we do. We run.”

Self encourages his players to hit the boards, fire crisp outlet passes and run.

“We ran better. I think that’s the first time all year we looked athletic,” Self said. “We were much more active starting out. We were much more active defensively. It seemed we had hands everywhere, caused a lot of havoc.”

The Jayhawks’ energy on offense and defense on Friday thrilled 16,300 fans who were more fired-up than usual for a game against a smaller, outmanned school.

“It was fun to see what the building can be like when our guys are playing with energy,” Self said. “Our guys had the most fun they’ve had all year long, maybe including even the Duke game (a 94-83 KU win, Nov. 12 in Chicago), because they attacked the basket.”

One player who had a blast was senior power forward Tarik Black, who flushed two dunks in KU’s 11-5 run that opened the game. The former University of Memphis player picked up two quick fouls in each of KU’s first three games.

“Nobody had to fire him up. He’s a senior,” Tharpe said. “He knew he wasn’t giving us his best that we needed. He knew he’d come in this game and do everything he could, and that’s what he did.

“He was really excited. He was smiling. I got him that dunk at the beginning (one-hand slam off lob). He really wanted that. He got a fast- break dunk himself (off steal and drive to goal). That’s Tarik being himself, playing free.”

KU will next meet Wake Forest (5-0) at 2:30 p.m., Central time, Thursday, in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas.


Don Burgundy 8 years, 10 months ago

Thank God for a bball article. No offense but I get tired of reading the same old fball story about how they got killed on Saturday and how they plan to regroup and come up with a great gameplan for next Saturday's game JUST to get killed again. Moving on to basketball, I wonder how long KU will be able to keep up this insane scoring pace seeing as how tougher competition is right around the corner. Rock Chalk.

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

This scoring pace includes a game against Duke, a game against an Iona team that got an at-large berth last year and a game against a Towson team that is slated to make the tourney.

John Randall 8 years, 10 months ago

Agree with both of you – the two we decimated aren't typical early season cupcakes, and have a tougher row to hoe coming up. This year's pre-conference schedule is as good as I can remember for preparation and especially for such a young, talented team.

Having opponents on the court who can expose your mistakes is great incentive for youngsters to move beyond the years where they could do no wrong. A bite of crow now and then adds some tang to the feasting.

Rock Chalk, keep kicking @$$ as long as it lasts, and then come right back and kick some more.

Steve Zimmerman 8 years, 10 months ago

Hey! Lookie, lookie here. Good times have come our way!

Dirk Medema 8 years, 10 months ago

Highest Pt total came against the highest rated opponent. Doesn't get much tougher than Duke, and just serves to motivate. Watch out now that the news are finding out that a little more effort on D leads to a lot more fun on O.

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

A poor game doesn't mean they were overrated. Was Ku the worst team in the Big 12 last year because they lost to TCU? The results of any one game mean nothing.

Greg Lux 8 years, 10 months ago

KU has always been at their best when we run with energy. This year we are again blessed with super athletes. This Should be a very very fun year at Kansas.

Rock Chalk

Asad Zoberi 8 years, 10 months ago

I am wondering as to what is wrong with Greene. I thought he played well against Duke, showed nice shooting touch off the bench. But he did not get any PT against Iona and very little time against Towson?

Is he in HCBS dog house?

Or HCBS working to show him the door in lieu of freeing up a scholie?

Robert Brock 8 years, 10 months ago

Have you ever seen Greene play defense? Neither have I.

Chris Shaw 8 years, 10 months ago

He is in the Self doghouse. There was something between the Duke game and the Iona game where he was taking care of "Responsibilities" off the court (Whatever that means).

I hope Greene doesn't get frustrated. He's going to be a stud for the Crimson and Blue if he sticks with it and rides it out.

Kye Clark 8 years, 10 months ago

As Shaw referenced, there was mention last week of him needing to take care of his off-court responsibilities.

However, it is most likely going to be a season-long fight between Greene & Frankamp for minutes, possibly a 3-way battle throwing AW3's minutes into the mix, although I tend to think his minutes are a bit "safer". All three very good outside shooters. Frankamp is at the disadvantage because of his height, which is why I think we saw so little of him in the first couple of games. But that doesn't mean that he can't make up ground (Self has praised him for his defense), or that another player might leave the door open to have their minutes taken (either with sub-par on-court performances or off-court slip-ups).

In a typical year with a typical Self team that last rotation spot, the 5th perimeter player, would need to be nailed down fairly quickly (and let's be honest, sometimes it doesn't go beyond the 4th perimeter player). The rotation has usually solidified itself no later than by the start of conference play. This year with the way fouls are being called it will most likely present opportunities for guys further down on the bench to garner meaningful playing time throughout the season. And with all three of those players being so young, the varying development curves might cause us to see more flexibility in Self's rotation.

I agree with Shaw, if Greene doesn't get discouraged he will be a dominant force in the line-up, when his time comes.

Gerry Butler 8 years, 10 months ago

I agree 100% chris, there is something going on why he is in the doghouse with f. I was glad to see him get even A LITTLE time, I too hope he doesn't get frustrated, but needs to take care of ALL aspects of things, more then just basketball. the kid can out rigoall someone we can definitely use at any time, defense lacks right now but given some time with the instruction of coaches it will come just hope he doesn't up and leave I think he has a bright future if he sticks. the hawks look REALLY, REALLY good right now but yet are just scratching the surface of where they can be, going to be very interesting to see just HOW GOOD they can be come conference play, very easily may be scary good, they are close now show flashes. need to tighten interior defense some but with these new rules. got one question as been stated by so many of commentators, my thought is they might as well remove the circle in the lane to help call block charge its impossible almost to get a charge called anymore with the new rule so why have it. GO HAWKS

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

Greene has been trying a little TOO hard when he is out there lately and messing up.

John Randall 8 years, 10 months ago

That may be true, but it still seems all the effort is toward doing things HIS way. We haven't seen anyone shove themselves down HCBS's throat and it sure won't happen this year, with so many obvious alternatives.

The most pleasing aspect of the early games is that the very best of the newcomers (AW, WS, TB) are also the most eager to take on Jayhawk mentalities. Damn, could this be the greatest year of them all?

Benz Junque 8 years, 10 months ago

Where's the guy that was screaming about how Bill Self's inability to coach a faster pace was holding these guys back? Mike Adams, paging Mike Adams...

These guys are learning at a very fast pace and are offensively WAY ahead of where most teams are this time of year. They are really gelling together, which is great to see from a group of such size. It can be tough to have a unit click well when there are a lot of different guys playing but this team seems to really all mesh well. No matter who gets plugged in they are still clicking.

It has been my lifetime desire to see a Kansas team so deep in talent that they could simple roll wave after wave of crazy athletic players out there like hockey line shifts. Each wave would go full tilt max effort, pushing the pace and assaulting the opposition. Before they get to the point where they get tired, bring on the next wave. A relentless assault that would break the minds and spirits of the opposition and have a crowd frothing at the mouth after each highlight reel play.

This team is as close to that as any I have ever seen. The potential is there. They just need to keep their foot on the gas and keep pushing themselves to do more and more and to extend that relentless assault to the defensive end as well. It's coming...

Kit Duncan 8 years, 10 months ago

Coach Roy had a few teams that went 10+ deep, and he could sub a second starting five to run other teams off the floor. Of course defense wasn't as important in those days, so high scores were more common. Coach Self places more emphasis on defense, but this team has arguably better talent than any other HCBS team to run the fast break, thus scores on the KU side should remain higher than in the past. Once this team buys into Bill's defense minded play, things might even get more exciting on fast breaks off turnovers! (If that's even possible)

Rick Monsour 8 years, 10 months ago

I would like to see Greene get more playing time and the opportunity to show his talent. It is difficult when your only on the court 5 minutes a game. Instant offense , ability to hit the boards, always looking for the open teammate for the assist, come on coach put him in!!!!!!

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