Sunday, November 23, 2014

Self undecided on lineup for Rider

Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) heads to the bucket between Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) and forward Karl-Anthony Towns (12) during the second half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4) heads to the bucket between Kentucky guard Aaron Harrison (2) and forward Karl-Anthony Towns (12) during the second half of the Champions Classic on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.


Kansas men's basketball coach Bill Self on Sunday said he hadn’t decided on his lineup for Monday night's game against Rider.

Freshman point guard Devonté Graham, who suffered a shoulder sprain in Tuesday’s 72-40 loss to Kentucky, practiced Sunday, thus should be available.

Freshman wing Kelly Oubre Jr. started the KU-Kentucky game and finished with six points and four rebounds in 13 minutes. He came off the bench in the two exhibitions and the opener versus UC Santa Barbara.

“He really didn’t say much,” Oubre said, asked what Self told him prior to the Kentucky game. “I just took it as motivation (that) I needed to do something right out there. At practice, we all worked hard (leading up to game). We did what we do. He started me against Kentucky. I don’t have any reason for it, but we all work hard in practice.”

Of Oubre’s play, Self said: “I thought Kelly did some positive things, without question. Let’s not get carried away. You’re not going to take any positives from the (Kentucky) game from an individual standpoint. I don’t think anybody stood out. You look at him and say, ‘Wow, he really played well.’ I don’t think that was one of those games. What happens when you play as individuals and you play against some really, really, really good individuals that play as a unit, then you don’t look very good individually. That’s kind of what we did.”

I thought Kelly did some good things. He put the ball down a couple times and got in there nicely. He made a nice three.

“One of the big keys to that game, and seems like a minor key, was how their three-man kept every ball alive on the glass,” Self noted. “Every ball, (Alex) Poythress and (Trey) Lyles kept every ball alive on the glass. Our three-man did a really poor job of creating any type of block out or opportunities for us through them crashing or through us getting to the offensive glass.”

Oubre realizes rebounding is vital.

“We have to get them at the three spot,” Oubre said. “Kentucky’s three-men were getting a lot of rebounds. They impacted the game by getting rebounds. Getting rebounds is very vital in the game. If you get a rebound you have a chance to get extra possessions the other team doesn’t have and that’s important.”


Rodney Crain 7 years, 7 months ago

Never seen Self like this, is it motivation, or something else?

Scott Yessen 7 years, 7 months ago

Why are UK's freshman able to figure things out and play immediately but our McDonald's All American and projected lottery picks cant or dont and play very 13mins? Where would you go to school if you were Jaylen Brown, Zimmerman, Rabb, Newman, etc?

Greg Lux 7 years, 7 months ago

First UK had and extra month of practice and a few extra games. Second - Without a doubt Kansas

Greg Lux 7 years, 7 months ago

Lets face it ... Kelly is going to be a starter as soon as Coach gets him to understand and play his position in the system. Starting makes little difference except for it helps the players ego. He will probably start Kelly or Brandon. Both are going to play quality minutes ( Kelly more then Brandon). Since we are not tall inside against many teams we will play our team is going to have to adjust its offense. We will probably drive the ball a lot more. We are going to need to make more of our 3's and Free-throws. And most of all we are going to have to BLOCKOUT on the boards. Kansas teams are notoriously bad at that part of the game. We have been blessed with height but this year we will be smaller then many teams so blocking out will be essential for KU to have a good chance of winning.. I hate to say it but Texas is going to give us fits come conference play if we don't get a lot better. On the positive side we are a very quick team and should be able to handle tall teams if we just get better in the next couple of months at passing and driving to pass.

Eliott Reeder 7 years, 7 months ago

Greene's first name is Brannen, not Brandon...

Asad Zoberi 7 years, 7 months ago

Good point. I have also wondered about it. It could be that Bill Selfs system is complex and it takes time to understand. This puts pressure on Freshmen who start to think too much. It happens over and over again. To be honest OADs are not a good fit & match for Self and KU.

After 2012, losing to KY, Self is going after OADS and the recruitment lanscape has changed , however, it has not worked well as Self has not changed his style of play and has stuck to his philosphies. He is too rigid in this regard.

Something has to give.

Todd Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

We had 2 one and dones last year that were pretty darn good. It did work well, but for an injury. AND UK's players ALWAYS seem to get it faster??? Um, did you watch them last year or when they went to the NIT?? Lets be honest here.

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

Last year's UK team played in the NCAA championship game.

Jeffrey Nichols 7 years, 7 months ago

Robert - did you read the word "or" in Todd's post. UK struggled mightily at times last year, but coalesced in the tourney. Everybody was bemoaning the Harrison twins and their lack of production throughout the year. They hit a couple big shots in the tourney and finally hit their stride. The "or" refers to UK in 2013 going to the NIT. OAD's are a fickle process - some do better than others. Any of you questioning Self's approach is laughable. In an imperfect process such as college basketball coaching, we are getting maximum value from a stand up guy.

Tom Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

They were an 8 seed that got on a roll. If they had won, they would have tied for the lowest seed ever to win it.

They had a lot of talent and got hot. It happens.

Glen Miller 7 years, 7 months ago

Our teams are better when guys play in our system for a few years... One and dones just don't pan out for us. Once they understand our system and get to work with A.H. for a year, they make leaps and bounds. Only being here for a year makes it hard to make an impact on our program. Wiggins and Embiid got drafted high off of their potential and athletic ability, not based off of what they did in their time at Kansas. Let's not fool ourselves on that one.

Cole Hogan 7 years, 7 months ago

I don't understand this one. Sure, OADs have struggled in the past here, but don't group Wiggins and Embiid in that group! Wiggins averaged over 17ppg and was our leading scorer! He shot 45%, and while he had his ups and downs, he was electric and single-handedly won us a few games (and he almost brought us back in the Florida game). Embiid was one of the best player sin the country when he was healthy towards the end of last year. He was far and away the best player in the Big 12 when he was healthy at the end of last season. Our fan base is so fickle.

Michael Sillman 7 years, 7 months ago

The difference with Kentucky this year comes from the experienced players at key positions. I really don't think it is far fetched that they could really run the table.

Faced with that limitless talent coming in waves, the reaction by our guys was completely understandable. I was happy to see us fight back at the end of the first half.

I do think Self will need to modify his offense a bit to fit the players. The high low may not work as well with our 6 ft 8 front line.

To me our best five will turn out to be Mason, Selden, Svi, Oubre, and Alexander. More fast breaking, motion, and kick outs will work better with that group.

I am really impressed with the kid from rhe Ukraine. He really looked like he belonged on the floor during the Kentucky game unlike most of our guys. He showed quick feet by staying in front of his man on D and had a great handle. His size will let him shoot over most guards. I hope he stays awhile.

Robert Brock 7 years, 7 months ago

I like the effort that he gives, but Mason is just not a point guard. Eventually, I hope that Graham develops into the starting PG. He has a lot to learn in the short run.

Layne Pierce 7 years, 7 months ago

If this small lineup does not pick up nuances of Self-s system then we may have to simply put Lucas or Mikkelson into the lineup to even size differential. Kentuckygot us out of the system, we panicked, so we don't really know what the system would do against them. We had terrible shots, we shot terribly, nuff said.

Texas will beat us down if we don't get figured out by then. Right now, this team could not win the conference. But hey there's a long way to go.

Scott Yessen 7 years, 7 months ago

All are good points. I think Selfs offense is much more restrictive and I also think he causes them to "think " too much by yanking them out for every mistake. Alson UK does have experience at key positions, but if they had left for the NBA as expected, those positions would be filled with more freshman playing more minutes than our projected lottery picks. I for one would love to just turn Alexander loose and tell him..."do what u do".

Gerry Butler 7 years, 7 months ago

you go to KU where you have a better chance of making an impact.. exp (S. Zimmerman ) he comes here ha an excellent chance of stepping right in as rather at UK just another big man same goes for jaylen Brown although feel like we have a MUCH better chance at Zimmerman then brown

Bill Mason 7 years, 7 months ago

I think Self should consider the platoon system. A first team of Sevi, Oubre, Selden, Ellis, and Alexander and a 'reinforcement team' of Mason, Graham, Greene, Traylor, and Lucas or Mikkelson would work. I wish he had done this from the outset.

Mason is simply too darn short as one blocked layup after another in the Kentucky game revealed. Sevi can slam the ball down. So can Oubre. So can Selden. And with a little encouragement from Self, so can Ellis.

The 'reinforcement team' should play frenetic ball. Full court press one hundred percent of the time. No running...only sprint. When they are exhausted, Then, go to the other team.

What this team has is depth. Self should use it. He isn't. And in the Kentucky game he didn't.

Joe Baker 7 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self is too old school to think out of the box. He's too conservative. He'll never use a John Calipari idea either. But, he could use a variation. I think we are learning that college bball is changing.
Bill Self just never coach's up to a talent. He can coach a lesser talented player all day. That lesser talent usually becomes a greater talent than when he entered college. The only commitment for the player is to remain at least 2-3 years for Self's system. If you're a OAD, you're wasting your time with Bill Self's system. Self took Embiid and made him an NBA sensation over night. He really never did much with Wiggins. He taught Wiggins to play defense and that was the only tool provided from Self to Wiggins in less than a year. We all know that Wiggins could've benefited from at least another year, but when your drafted on potential, why stay in college?
Self will never turn down an OAD, but the OAD will never flourish in Self's system. Calipari is the total opposite of Self. Calipari can't coach a lesser ranked player up to potential, but can coach talented 5 star recruits better than most coaches. All you have to do is get them to believe your system, the talent does the rest. So, Self has to coach players up and get them to play within his system. This is a difficult order in one short season.

Cole Hogan 7 years, 7 months ago

Self may not be the best at developing guards, but I'll be damned if you try to tell me that he isn't the best post player coach in the country. He has coached up lesser talent to their ceiling (a la Withey), and he has coached up great talents who exceeded expectation (a la Embiid). Before that, he had the Morri, Aldrich, Kahn, Jackson. Our posts are always studs. Don't tell me he can't seriously coach the post, it is why we run a high-low style of ball.

Kristen Downing 7 years, 7 months ago

Texas, Iowa State and after watching West Virginia last night, will all give us trouble.

Priest Fontaine 7 years, 7 months ago

Time to move Perry to the 3. He's not wired to battle in the post. Make the switch now so he and the team are adjusted for when it really counts.

New Starting 5: 1 - Mason 2 - Selden 3 - Ellis 4 - Alexander 5 - Traylor or Lucas

first in: Oubre, Greene, Svi, Graham

Vernon Riggs 7 years, 7 months ago

Perry is not a guard. The #3 player in HCBS offense is Shooting Guard. Think of the starters as 1-2-2-4-4.

Bill Mason 7 years, 7 months ago

Forget Texas. Forget Iowa State. Forget West Virginia. We are KU. Our competition is national and the big dog right now in the national sense is Kentucky. They are our natural competition and to beat them we need to platoon.

Mason is simply too small to play with the big guys except in a 'reinforcement team' roll. Sevi in a month will probably be the best player on the team, except for possibly Alexander. Sevi should get big minutes right now. Oubre should start. Traylor isn't a big enough offensive threat to be first team eligible, but he does bring energy and in the 'reinforcement team' roll has good value.

Ellis is coming along. He is becoming more forceful and is throwing the ball down, but unless he becomes much more of a force, he isn't the best player on the team. But, he is Mr. Steady, in person and any team would love to have him. KU included.

Selden is the worrying one. One moment he is there and the next moment he is watching. Greene, too. Self needs to kick butt.

Rodney Crain 7 years, 7 months ago

This is one of the funniest posts I have seen in a long long time. Thank you! Some of the best satire I have ever seen.

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