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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Self: Kansas grades out OK so far

Kansas head coach Bill Self questions a play by Jamari Traylor during a timeout in the second half, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas head coach Bill Self questions a play by Jamari Traylor during a timeout in the second half, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Kansas University’s basketball players enter finals week having earned a passing grade on the hardwood.

“I would never have thought before the season we’d be 8-1 at this juncture, playing the schedule we’ve played with this many young kids,” KU coach Bill Self said, looking at the big picture following Saturday’s 63-60 victory over No. 13 Utah in Sprint Center.

“I think Fran (Frachilla, ESPN) said we have the 11th-youngest team in the country, and we probably play younger than anybody right now. Even though statistically we’re not as good as some people in our league, we’ve played a good schedule so far. We’re learning how to win ugly, which is still winning. You get confidence through that.”

The No. 10-ranked Jayhawks, who have four nonconference games remaining (Lafayette, Kent State, UNLV at home; Temple on road), have excelled on defense (63.2 ppg allowed off 40 percent shooting) while struggling mightily on offense.

KU, which is two games better than last year’s nine-game mark of 6-3, averages 69.3 points a game, compared to the Andrew Wiggins-led Jayhawks’ 77.1 mark at this stage a year ago.

“We make some mental mistakes,” said Self, whose squad ranks ninth in the league in field-goal percentage (41.4). “We’ve always played to get angles in the post, throw it in there, they trap you then you play out of it. If they don’t, you play behind it. We don’t have a real good passing team, obviously (eighth in league in assists with 11.8 per game). We have to figure a way to do some things. We’ve got to become a ball-moving team or catch-it-and-driving team. We have to find a way to open up some driving lanes, the same thing all coaches (are trying to) do.”

“The guys believe we can win. Georgetown was a grind-it-out win (75-70). Michigan State was a grind-it-out win (61-56). Tennessee was a grind-it-out win (82-67). Florida was a grind-it-out win (71-65). We’re learning how to win grind-it-out games. I just wish our offense could get where we’re a little bit more fluid and we can play inside-out a little bit better,” added Self, whose squad is an impressive plus-6 in rebound margin.

Saturday, the Jayhawk defense clamped down on Utah’s final offensive possession. Utes standout guard Delon Wright said he and fellow three-point threat Dakarai Tucker were shadowed so closely, the ball found 7-footer Jakob Poetl, who didn’t even draw iron on a last-second, potential game-tying three.

“It was just one of our many sets, trying to get Dakarai a look,” coach Larry Krystkowiak told the Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s not like you wanted to give Jakob a look, but we managed a second shot at it. We’ll move on.”

Scouts galore: Scouts from 13 NBA teams attended Saturday’s KU-Utah game.

“I thought it would be one of the better games in the country today,” Walt Perrin, Jazz vice president of player personnel, told the Deseret News. “There’s quite a few of them, but I happen to also be in this Midwest area so it fit in my plans.”

Welcome home, Bill: Bill Riley, a 1992 KU graduate and 1988 graduate of Olathe South, worked Saturday’s KU-Utah game for Utah’s radio network. Riley, who has worked in Utah since 2001, also is the voice of Real Salt Lake soccer. He’s been a play-by-play announcer for Jacksonville University and also hosted talk shows in Florida and Utah.

Semi on the market: Former Ottawa High forward Semi Ojeleye is leaving Duke. The 6-foot-7, 230-pound sophomore forward averaged 3.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in six games for the second-ranked Blue Devils (8-0).

“We want to thank Semi and his family for their commitment to the Duke program for the last year and a half. He has been an excellent student and a great representative of our school and basketball program. He has been granted a full release and we definitely wish him the best,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement.

He chose Duke over Oregon, Stanford, Indiana, Arizona, Illinois and Wisconsin out of high school. He will have 2 1/2 seasons of eligibility remaining if he enrolls at a school before start of second semester.

Comments

Steve Zimmerman 7 years, 5 months ago

Gary, I'm not sure you meant guard Delon Wright or not. I apologize if I missed it. cheers, bro.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

1/4 season observations:

1) Delon Wright was the best guard KU has faced all season. That kid is a future NBA'er and made KU's squad look foolish at times. Yes, better than either of the Harrison Twins.

2) Looks like fans are nervous about graham going down and not having another point guard behind Mason? Me, I see an opportunity to develop Greene as a point forward in a similar fashion/role that Evan Turner had with Ohio State a few years back.

Will Bill Self look at the possibility? I would say based on Self's stubbornness and history that the odds are slim to none. He has always said that you try to find ways to get your most talented guys on the floor...well, this would be an opportunity to do just that.

You have to remember, KU isn't that great down low this year because there is no "footer" so if you can offset by getting greene, oubre, and selden with bigger guards on the floor with Ellis and Alexander I say you have to try it out. The next 4 games before heading into conference would would be a great opportunity to experiment with this.

3) 11th youngest team in the country? Is that encouraging? For next season i would say yes. This year, not so much. The logjam at the 3 and the continued lack of minutes (Alexander not starting) has been one of the most annoying observations of the season.

It's always been known that Self has a process with freshmen but I gotta admit...that process frustrates me beyond belief. I am tired of the head games and the psychological battle that I've been witnessing this season with oubre, svi, and Greene at the 3 and Alexander in the post. What have we learned 9 games through the season? That they are scared for their lives to make a mistake because they will be yanked if they mess up.

Make a decision Self...go with your gut and go with the kid you think is gonna give you best chance to win in March. They gotta get minutes and "experience" (mistakes included). When Self went with Frankamp in the two NCAA games last year...all I could think of was, what a waste. Self had an opportunity to develop Frankamp all season and he didn't. Then he just shoves the kid out there on the biggest stage. I don't blame Connor leaving and pursuing another opportunity. I see the same trend happening this year.

4) UGLY! But, I guess winning ugly is apart of it. Last year and this year have been 2 of the most frustrating years I can remember watching the Jayhawks in 30 years. Is it youth? Is it the one and dones? Is it the different style of college basketball these days? Is it the robotic nature of these kids playing the game of basketball? Whatever happened to kids having fun playing college basketball? The last two years it has looked like a "job" for these kids to play the game of basketball and IMO that's the biggest observation I've seen. Have Fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Greg Lux 7 years, 5 months ago

All I can say about your comments is you obviously don't understand the process of bringing young talent along and making a team player out of a team star. Keep the faith HCBS will make it work in the end. As many would say " The process of building something isn't pretty but the finished product will be Beautiful". Merry Christmas to all...

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

I understand completely. It leads to another early exit in the NCAA tournament. Is that the "finished product" you speak of?

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

Cliff is playing starter minutes. Just because he doesn't start on the floor first means nothing. Self is right; he is a foul magnet. The reason Cliff doesn't play more is CLIFF, not Self.

"That they are scared for their lives to make a mistake because they will be yanked if they mess up." I have not seen any of these players playing scared of being yanked. Oubre was cautious and tentative but has been fed more minutes and is playing pretty well. He's still a little cautious on his drives to the rim and hasn't stepped on the gas to be the explosive player people claim he is. Is that because of SELF? Doubtful.

Everyone has these same dumb rants every year and never thinks to look at what is happening to see if they are actually applicable.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

They are actually applicable in this case. If you want "Application" then we can go back to Kentucky. Oubre hardly played in the preseason and only logged 4 min in the UC Santa Barbra game. Then...he becomes a starter on the biggest in the college basketball kickoff classic against Kentucky? Then, he literally is unheard of again until the Georgetown game and now the Utah game.

Was Svi playing better? Maybe? Did Greene deserve the start against Utah? Maybe? 9 games in and there has been zero...absolutely zero rhythm and cohesiveness from the 3 spot. What is that attributed to? Youth? Very Plausible. IMO though, you have to show confidence and trust at some point and go with a player so the "Team" can define it's roles. Somebody is gonna be left out between Svi, Oubre, and Greene. That is unfortunate but you're gonna have to start one and bring the other off the bench in significant minutes so they can mentally prepare for their role for when they step on the court.

"Starting", I agree isn't that big of deal, but in the mind of "Players" and a 17-21 year old the consistently jarring of rotations, mind games, psychological lessons have a lasting imprint. That lasting imprint may work when they are juniors and seniors, but some of these kids (Oubre and Alexander) may not be here when they are juniors and seniors. That's how the college game has changed. Is it "Applicable"? Very much so.

Cliff doesn't start, but he's been averaging 18.7 minutes a game? Are those starter type minutes? Some would say yes, but I would say no. Jahlil Okafor is averaging 27.4 minutes, 17 points, and 7.5 rebounds. Am I overly concerned about Okafor's stats? No I am not, but I am paying attention to those 27 minutes he's getting.

Yes, Cliff hasn't been able to get out of his own way at times, but how are you gonna learn to get out of your own way if you don't have the opportunity or get the experience at one of the most exciting times of the game?

Let's say Cliff finally starts during conference play. In that first game he picks up 2 fouls in the first 40 seconds? Is that productive? Not really, but had he learned the 4th, 5th, or 6th game of the season say against rider, tennessee, or Rhode Island that very valuable lesson of picking up cheap fouls maybe he doesn't do that in the middle of the season?

I agree Oubre played well against Utah and is looking more smooth and yes he also couldn't get out of his own way with the 3 fouls early. "Game" speed is so much different than "Practice" speed and whomever Self ends up going with (I honestly don't care at this point-just make a decision so kids can define their roles and start having fun), they will understand this as they log more minutes. But they have to get the minutes without looking over their shoulder IMO.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

If you want my honest opinion, if Wayne Selden is the true leader that everybody thinks he is...he would offer his services off the bench. Huh? What? Yes, I said it.

I don't think Selden's game meshes up well right now with Oubre's, Greene's, or Svi's. I know it won't happen. In no way shape or form am I comparing this KU team to the 2012 Kentucky Wildcats (In large part because there is no footer or Anthony Davis type on this squad), but Kidd-Gilchrist, Lamb, and Darius Miller do remind me a little bit of Oubre, Greene, and Selden except bigger. Miller became an NBA guy coming off the bench and I think Miller and Selden are similar players.

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

I'll toss in that Cliff is not a foul magnet. That's a myth. Black was a foul magnet. Cliff has not fouled out once this season, and I can't even recall him getting a 4th.

Self is the one making the decision. But it is valid to suggest Cliff is not meeting coach Self's standards. And that goes to Chris' point -- Self tends has a higher bar perhaps than other coaches when it comes to freshman PT.

Asad Zoberi 7 years, 5 months ago

Chris Shaws points are totally valid. He is right on the spot.

Self needs to adapt to his talent. This is the seasson where he must look at playing outside in and shoot more 3s, of going inside. Yet he keeps talking about scoring inside.

KU is just not a good team against L&A, we have seen it over and over again, recall SDSU, TX, Stanford, Utah etc. Ellis is a great talent but he struggles when faced with taller men. Lucas has length but he is just not strong enough and has trouble finishing. Cliff has the size but lacks experience and length. But we have long wings in Oubre, Green, Svi. Why not change your play style to your strength. They are pure shooters. Why not make set plays for the. It is so frustrating.

Michael Leiker 7 years, 5 months ago

Listening to Self's post game comments on Saturday, you can tell it's very hard for him to fight his natural instinct to want to look inside first. You can almost hear his the inner conflict he is having. I'm with you though, this team needs to look jumper first but still be aggressive attacking when it's there.

These guys can flat out shoot it, everybody on the whole team, could be fun if he let's it happen.

Benz Junque 7 years, 5 months ago

If the guards were better at passing the ball into the post we would not be having this discussion because the post guys would be scoring at will. They have to score OVER big guys right now because they aren't getting the ball in time and in position to score easily.

It's DUMB to go away from easy shots so we can chuck a bunch of long distance shots. Learn to pass better so you can get easy shots.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Chris Shaw...EXCELLENT! Very well spoken.

Trent Rose 7 years, 5 months ago

Greene is not a ball handler. Selden or Svi might fit what you're talking about, but Greene is a pure shooter, plain and simple. Have you seen him handle the ball?? That would be a huge mistake. I do agree that Alexander needs more minutes, but do you realize how many defensive mistakes he makes during the course of a game?

And finally, do you think you know better than Bill Self? We are talking about a future Hall-of-Fame coach.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

Greene is the better ball handler between Svi, Oubre, and Selden. It's not close.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

There is no way to sugar coat this, Chris. That statement is simply asinine. I'm not sure you understand what the term "ball handler" means. Sorry.

Jeffrey Nichols 7 years, 5 months ago

As to point #2, have you even watched Brannen play this year. He loses his handle at times when no one is near him, let alone when guarded. I'd rather see Cliff Alexander bring the ball up than Brannen. I love Brannen's shot, love his attitude, his shooter's mentality. All are top notch and he has a place on the floor. But he's no ball handler, and until he consistently plays defense, he'll only have a bit role. Self's defense requires all 5 play hard - ton of help defense involved. If one person isn't doing their part, the whole system breaks down. Greene got owned multiple times in the Utah game by Utes off the bounce.

As to the rest of your comments, they are borderline trolling. Maybe we should just get rid of Self - damn his conference championships and perpetuating the longest streak of appearances in the NCAA tournament. Who cares about the consistent top 10 rankings? That's not enough for you Chris!! Heck no, we need more. I'm just shocked the basketball team you are coaching isn't ranked higher Chris. You seem to have all the answers.

Tom Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

What have you seen that makes you think Brannen Greene can be a point anything? He simply should not be dribbling in games until...who knows? Not this year, though.

Walter Bridges 7 years, 5 months ago

Greg,.. It would have been easier to just sling mud on a wall to see what sticks than to make the claim that Shaw doesn't know what he is talking about.

As someone who often disagrees with his final conclusions, your comment about Shaw not knowing how to bring about young talent falls well short of that goal. It would be great if there was some magical formula for such a task but in reality, just as every person is different, so is the correct formula. Fortunately for us, HCBS realizes what motivates some players will not work against other young players.

Bryce Landon 7 years, 5 months ago

Get Semi Ojeleye back to Kansas where he should have come in the first place!

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

I like Ojeleye a lot, but what does him coming to KU do? All it does is create an even more logjam at the 3/4 with Svi, Greene, and Oubre. KU doesn't need "More Bodies". They need to the right bodies at this point. KU and Self can't even figure out the logjam right now with 3 players so I don't even want to think about the introduction of OJeleye and a 4th player into that equation.

Ron Sterling 7 years, 5 months ago

By the time Ojeleye would be eligible, it wouldn't really matter. Oubre and Svi will probably be on there way out the door in the second semester, if at least one hasn't left already. Ojeleye is also more of a Perry Ellis type player than a true wing, so he'd give us a better back up to Perry than Traylor.

Chris Shaw 7 years, 5 months ago

We don't know that. What happens if they stay? It works out if they leave, but do you honestly think any of them are leaving after the 2016 season (Sophomore year and Greene's junior year)?

The only way I see it happening (one or two of them leaving) is if one of them transfers and i hate the thought of that, but it is possible and even pretty realistic in this day and age. At this rate...none of them are leaving nor should they consider it unless it's a transfer and they feel that decision benefits them in the long run.

KU certainly doesn't need Josh Selby 2.0 nor do those guys want to be that. Maybe they do? We shall see.

Ron Sterling 7 years, 5 months ago

Yes, I honestly think one or both of them will leave at the end of next year, but even if they didn't, Perry Ellis and Traylor will, and Ojeleye can play the 4 realistically. I'd rather have someone signed on as their replacement now than have one or both go, wisely or unwisely, and be left scrambling. For course, we never no for sure, but that's why you plan for what you think will most likely happen, right?

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Chris Shaw...youre all over it today! 5-stars. We need HEIGHT. I anticipate Selden, Greene, Mykhailuk and Oubre to all return (based on production alone, their stock could rise if they all had better seasons). You hit the nail on the head with the words "log jam". If Ojeleye comes in I guarantee someone would have to transfer out. Since Ojeleye would not significantly improve our prospects of winning a national title, better to save that scholarship for an incoming impact player the likes of Zimmerman or others.

Ron Sterling 7 years, 5 months ago

Why would anyone transfer out? Selden, Mykhailuk, and Oubre all project to be gone by the end of next season.

Joe Ross 7 years, 5 months ago

Because someone who has their best interest in mind should tell them that simply because they are "projected" to be in a certain place in the draft is not the same as saying they are "projected" to leave. If they are ready for the jump then fine. But taking these cakes out of the oven half baked leads to some pretty nasty results. Yet if they stayed (as they should, based on their play), they would be concerned about their playing time. Lesson of Conner Frankamp ring any bells? If they improve--and I mean drastically--then the argument changes; but under the current conditions the argument stands and there is no reason to bring Ojeleye in.

Ron Sterling 7 years, 5 months ago

What does Conner Frankamp have to do with anything. He was never going to go to the NBA. Whether or not you like the way the draft works, kids tend to leave while they have hype, whether or not they'll live up to it. And if you think kids don't leave when they have favorable draft projections, you're not paying attention to what's happening around you.

Robert Brock 7 years, 5 months ago

If he can't cut it at Duke he can't cut it at KU.

Maybe Kansas State...

Ron Sterling 7 years, 5 months ago

So you think he's a worse option than Traylor or Lucas?

Ron Sterling 7 years, 5 months ago

And that was the only good game he's played all season. His numbers across the board are down this year. It's not that I don't like the guy, but he'll never be a great option for major minutes.

Robert Brock 7 years, 5 months ago

Right now, I want HCBS to worry about Diallo, Zimmerman, Bragg, Rabb and Jaylen Brown. Ojeleye is old news (plus he was always waaaaaay overrated).

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

Benz made this point above: "If the guards were better at passing the ball into the post we would not be having this discussion because the post guys would be scoring at will. They have to score OVER big guys right now because they aren't getting the ball in time and in position to score easily. It's DUMB to go away from easy shots so we can chuck a bunch of long distance shots. Learn to pass better so you can get easy shots."

This response ignores reality. Someone is not watching the games. We can't get shots off. Ellis can't score against long, athletic, big guys. Ellis is great against certain players, but struggles mightily with.

The stats back up our struggles. Look at Jesse Newell’s column yesterday. We are making just over 50% of our shots at the rim, compared to prior teams making appx. 65%. We get 14% of our shots blocked, which is way above prior teams (at 9% or below). And here's the big one -- we are shooting just 50.3% on shots at the rim, and are ranked 288th nationally in 2 point percentage. In the Self era, all teams except one have been in the top 30, and that team (2005-06) was 69th.

This is incredibly instructive.

Look at the second half Saturday with Ellis. There were times when we did get some drives to the hoop in the second half. Ellis drove a few times. Turned it over, got it blocked. Mason drove on another possession, dished, and Ellis got his shot blocked again. Early in the half, second possession, we had a run out and Ellis got blocked yet again. He is not Marcus Morris. He just struggles against bigger guys.

This team is much better suited to play outside/in. It's not even really a debate. Self said after the game that we need to play more inside/out. Based on everything we’ve seen with this team, that makes no sense.

Compare first half and second half Saturday. In the first half, our outside game pushed us to our 21 point lead.

We were down 12-6. In those first number of minutes, Ellis scored twice inside, and then got two free throws. Those quick inside baskets accounted for two of our three inside baskets in the first half -- where we led by 21. Greene got his one attempt three point attempt. Down 12-6. Then, guess what? Selden hits at three, Ellis hits a three, and Ellis hits a two just inside the line, and we're tied 14-14, and off to the races. We hit 3 more three pointers, stretching the lead to 21.

(continued)

Jack Wilson 7 years, 5 months ago

Look at our first half scoring. Five three pointers = 15 points. 10 free throws = 10 points. Traylor jumper, Ellis jumper, Selden jumper, Greene a runner = 8 points. And just two Ellis buckets near the hoop, and one for Traylor = 6 points. In the first half run, we made 23 points from outside shots, and just 6 points from near the hoop buckets. (note: on the ESPN play-by-play, it shows Ellis' second shots as a jumper, but it was the pivot, over the shoulder). Now, I don't mind getting the ball inside. Ellis got two free throws, and so did Traylor inside in the first half. But Oubre had four free throws and Mason two in the first half run. But this run was nearly entirely outside/in. Then we focused on looking inside the entire second half.

Self said after the game that our offense was "stagnant" in the second half. I wonder why? If you re-watch the second half, we stagnated because on nearly every possession we looked to get it inside. We shot only three, three pointers, two coming on one possession, one of which came as a rushed shot as the shot clock expired. Ironically, the first three attempt of the second half stopped Utah's run (Mason).

Self even mocked Ellis' big outside shots that got us going, claiming that his best big guy scoring away from the hoop was "fool's gold." The fool's gold is trying to play inside out with this team.

This team is much better suited for an outside/in style of play. The fool’s gold will be when we play well inside against smaller, less athletic teams. Then, how will that shape up in March vs. a bigger team? To beat a bigger team, this KU team needs to hit three pointers, and slash to the hoop – as the primary focus over pounding it inside. This could help the inside game as a result.

This is about winning a national championship, and this team isn't winning one with the post game as the main focal point of the offense.

Self said after the game that he needs to find ways for this team to “manufacture” points. The answer is staring him in the face.

Self talked in the preseason about shooting more threes. The talk is cheap. This season, we are actually shooting fewer three pointers per game than any team under coach Self. Including the Utah game, we're shooting a paltry 14.88 three pointers per game. Our number of three pointers per game has declined steadily since peaking in 2010-11 (which was the epitome of the inside/out team). This has to change.

This team can’t reliably score inside against bigger teams. This version of the KU Jayhawks needs to play outside/in.

Suzi Marshall 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm beginning to believe this as well and posted similar comments under today's Mason article by Keegan.

Our guys are athletic, quick and have good hands. There is no reason, outside experience, we can not excel in the paint. I tend to believe the guys just don't know what to do when Mason or anyone else gets in the paint, i.e. move to open spots, screen off defenders, passing ...and finishing. Maybe we just need to face the facts that Ellis/Traylor/Lucus can't finish against length and it will take most of the year for Alexander to come around to D1 play.

kellerman411 7 years, 5 months ago

Yep, agree. Self knows what he's doing but he needs to stop forcing a style of basketball onto a team that doesn't have the personnel for it. Perry and Cliff can score on the post good enough to keep a defense honest but this team needs to embrace the perimeter game.

Joe Joseph 7 years, 5 months ago

+1 Jack. Excellent post.

We've heard the lip service from Bill before about changing things, but it rarely happens. The guy wins at an 80% clip, so I don't really blame him, but this team is much different from any of the teams he's had at Kansas.

Free the Three!!

Rodney Crain 7 years, 5 months ago

Excellent post Jack. Benz I agree. It is so nice that you do not flip flop between different articles on how you view our team and players. It is so refreshing to see honest, realistic views of our program. Thank you.

Jack I would be remiss without acknowledging your excellent analysis on Perry Ellis. I agree and then some on your critique of him and applaud your eloquent way in stating what is so clearly an incomplete player. It always amazes me when others just blindly applaud the high scorer, without looking at their entire game.

You know at one point of the 2nd half when Utah was bringing up the ball all 5 of our guys were 2-3 feet inside of the 3 point line. I could not beleive we were playing a zone. We were not of course, and quickly went to man. Too bad Utah looked confused, looked over at their coach and he was going to reset the offense till we went man and then he just smiled and told his team run the play we are fine.

It made me wonder if Self can break out of his own shadow and change to the team he has, an outside-inside team. We might have to live and die on the 3 pointer but we cannot play inside this year. Let's hope he does not talk himself out of rethinking the need to modify his normal approach and we see more of the first half club instead of the one we saw in the second half.

This is not a slam on all the 30 win seasons, or the 10 conference titles. It is fair to hope your team plays to its strengths and can continue winning even when this team is quite different than ones we have had in the past with Self.

Aaron Paisley 7 years, 5 months ago

If it's about winning a title, KU's not going to depending on outside shooting. No team wins titles when they're dependant on outside shooting. There has to be scoring from the paint when the outside shots aren't falling.

I'll say again because I've said it a few times, this is a team that can get to the Final Four, but that's it. KU isn't beating Kentucky or Duke this year and there is no one else definitively better than KU at this point. This is typically the week that KU teams have had the biggest improvement so we need to wait and see what the offense looks like the next 4 games before Big 12 play starts to see of there's improved ball movement.

Adam James 7 years, 5 months ago

Fred Hoiberg would have an absolute field day with this team and his spread offense. We should be averaging at least 20- 3's a game.

Mick Allen 7 years, 5 months ago

Jack once again I agree with your post and so far this season bears out your earlier stated concern that while HCBS talks about how we will have to make some changes because we don't have the inside size we usually do, those changes to date haven't been made, or, at the least haven't been emphasized. You are absolutely correct we can not score over height and length, with Perry being the most obvious example, although Jamari has also experienced a number of rejections also. As I stated in an earlier post, our personnel does not lend itself to being a high low half court offense. That is not the tempo that is the best fit for our current personnel. We have to make teams, especially the big athletic teams, play our tempo which is hopefully pushing the ball up court, spreading the floor and shooting more jump shots on kick outs off dribble penetration. Mason, Selden, Oubre, Greene, SVI etc. need to push at every opportunity. Another way to influence tempo is to pressure and trap more. Initially I saw this, but it has been absent the last few games. Obviously, to push the ball requires our defense get the ball off the defensive board and make a good outlet pass down the court, not a lateral pass to a ball handler that walks the ball up court while the defense sets its half court defense. We have rebounded the ball well, a plus 6 rebounds a game and looking at our personnel with the quickness we have, we can get up and down. I do not ever want any one to coach KU in my lifetime other than Bill Self. Having said that though, the inside out game is not effective if we can not be a threat to score inside with any consistency. We need to be more of a 94 foot team this year, who pushes the ball up court and plays aggressive on ball defense extended to half or three quarter pressure and traps. On offense the open 3 pointer off ball movement and penetration with kick out needs to be encouraged. If Perry faces up from 15 to 20 feet and hits a few jumpers, this will certainly help his ability to drive the basketball and score or get fouled inside. Lucas is a nice young man but too slow and robotic to recharge the high low way Coach would like to play. Taylor is active and puts the ball on the floor pretty well, but he is 6'8" and although he has shown on occasion he can hit the 15 footer, his offense is largely going to be put backs and beating a bigger defender off the bounce in getting to the rim. More than any team that Self has had here we are going to have to rely on our point,twos and threes to provide offense which, out of necessity' will require them to shoot and hopefully make more threes to open up the inside enough so we can have some semblance of low post offense, at least until Alexander can become an offensive presence down low, and at some point I know he will.

Erich Hartmann 7 years, 5 months ago

Regarding Oubre's "surprise start" vs. KY. Maybe Self purposely did that to our McDAA (Oubre) because Oubre wasnt seeing the light in practice, or pouting...so Self let him get baptized by fire by a FinalFour contender (KY), who is also stocked with a ton of MckyD talent. So he let Oubre and the KU team get humbled, thus setting up a determination and focus that will last the entire season. Competetive athletes with a royalty name across their chest (k.a.n.s.a.s.) wont ever forget such a shellacking. Old coach trick # 14c...

But its so clear that the 11th youngest team has a lot to learn.

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