Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Bill Self praises role players for win at SDSU

Former Kansas forward Jamari Traylor chest bumps former guard Brannen Greene (14) during a December 2015 game against San Diego State in San Diego. Traylor and Greene are both playing for the NBA Summer League in July, trying to land an NBA regular season roster spot and contract.

Former Kansas forward Jamari Traylor chest bumps former guard Brannen Greene (14) during a December 2015 game against San Diego State in San Diego. Traylor and Greene are both playing for the NBA Summer League in July, trying to land an NBA regular season roster spot and contract.


— After Kansas University won its first road game of the season, 70-57, at San Diego State Tuesday night, KU coach Bill Self lauded the play of Brannen Greene (four points, four boards, 26 minutes) and Jamari Traylor.

“You could make a case they were our two best players,” Self said.

“And Carlton (Bragg, two points, six minutes) gave us some good things. Cheick (Diallo, four points first half) made two big baskets in the first half. Landen (Lucas, two minutes) didn’t play a lot. I thought Hunter (Mickelson two points, eight minutes), even though he starts, he’s sort of a bench guy. They all play the same. If you add that position together we got some good production,” Self said.

Self on the big men: “It’s not easy to play six big guys, and we played one of them 17 minutes in the first half (Ellis). Have to give everybody a chance. When the game got tight, I went with experience (Traylor). I put an experienced guy out there because he’d been there before.”

Self on the win: “We would have been very happy coming out here and getting a win, period. And to come out here and control the game basically from start to finish with the exception of a couple of minutes, I think is pretty good. Both teams were ready to play. A lot of energy in the building. I think it was great prep for conference play, but the bottom line, we needed this game. We needed  to go on the road and play in a good building. I think it was good for us. I think our non-conference, even though the schedule probably wasn’t as tough as it has been in other years. We played some good teams but we just didn’t play as many really, really good teams this year probably. But I think the non-conference schedule has done what it’s needed to do for us this year.”

S.D State coach Steve Fisher: “We played a team tonight that is, in my opinion, nobody in the country is better than. They’re good. They’re good in so many different ways. They’re obviously well-coached. They can run body after body after body on you. They don’t lose—and usually gain—a step when they go to the bench.

“Like really good teams do — really good teams—they took a hard hit, took a left hand to the head, but came back to themselves with a 1-2-3 on us to get eight straight points, to push it right back up to where it was. The fight was there, we just weren’t quite good enough."

— See what people were saying about Kansas at San Diego State during’s live blog

More news and notes from Kansas at San Diego State

By the Numbers: Kansas 70, San Diego State 57

By the Numbers: Kansas 70, San Diego State 57


Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

It's christmas now...I'm still as mystified by the big man rotation as I was in game 1, after the the 6th game when Diallo started his career and now in the 11th in a very good road game where diallo and and BRAGG could have used some crucial minutes.

Self said he went with experience late. Hmmmmm, this is great for a short term gain and a short term win but after 11 games im still as baffled as ever by the big man rotation.

I can't imagine how the players feel and their mindset with it all. If thats the way to build confidence respectfully disagree with this strategy thus far this season.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

I would bet that they feel like they have to play better to earn more minutes.

Gerry Butler 6 years, 4 months ago

Golly Chris, I dunno, wouldn't it be great if we could be in Coaches spot to make those decisions and he could be sitting in the recliner and saying I wonder why, or what the hell is Coach doing? I think I'll stick with the present Coach, that's won a National Championship, that's won 11 straight conference Championships, that has lost only 9 games at home since he became our head coach, That his team is 10-1 AGAIN this year & ranked 2nd in the Nation with our only loss coming to the nu 1 team in the Nation in the 2nd game of the year, in which we lead for 3/4 of that game, I think I'll stick with the Coach who's team has been ranked in the top 25 and towards the top of it for every single week since he ha been here, stick with a coach that is 195-9 at the phog ya I think I'll let him make the decisions as to why he is playing who plays and when, I'll just sit back like yourself in my recliner with my soda, or beer or whatever my chips and take it all in Once Cheick can learn as I have said once he learns to play some defense with out leaving his feet every dam time some one gives a little head fake, once he can learn how to play defense with out fouling out in 10 minutes of playing time, then he will be able to play more. Once he proves not only in game time conditions but ALSO in practice that he is ready, then we will see him more, Coach sees him and his progress more, a lot more then what we see, ya I think I's stick with Coach decisions. ROCK CHALK ALL DAY LONG BABY

Kit Duncan 6 years, 4 months ago

No offense Chris, but Bill Self's job is to win games. Your desire for Diallo to get up to speed is understandable, but that time passed earlier in the season when KU was playing lesser opponents and in the friendly confines of Allen Fieldhouse. Expect Diallo to see limited playing time in close games or against dangerous opponents until he understands his place on the court. Hopefully, by mid conference play, we'll see the Cheick Diallo we all expected to see by now.

Chris Shaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Kit, his job is to win the right games and to get the team playing to a certain level come postseason.

This back and forth posturing with his comments with the media about his "Big" situation is quite annoying.

Experience vs Youth? All I know is that if certain guys aren't up to speed, don't have the confidence, and don't know their clear defined role in the's gonna be the difference between a final 4 and a national championship and a round 32 or sweet 16 loss. The latter we are all too familiar with the last 3 seasons.

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

There is an interesting article on espn about how so many top teams have struggled following the injury/loss of a key player.

It is amazing that some KU fans appear oblivious to this reality relative to our post-season performance the past couple years, and then conveniently blame the loss on whatever claim they are currently making against Coach Self in particular. No need to worry Chris. You've got plenty of company.

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 4 months ago

You wouldn't be much of a fan if you forgot Embiid missed the entire postseason due to his back injury and although Alexander wasn't injured, it didn't help our cause watching him sitting on the bench. Still, losing in the second round the past two years is a legitimate cause to be concerned about.

Darwin Dandy 6 years, 4 months ago

We just got to let Self take it one game at a time because he is still trying to figure it out himself. Rome was built in a day and neither will this possible national championship contender. I believe in his process and think we are ok right now.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 4 months ago

I was very impressed with Greene going after the ball and rebounding. I definitely want to see more of that from him!

Marius Rowlanski 6 years, 4 months ago

Good point... Maybe Greene is starting to realize that playing defense will add minutes to his playing time.

My biggest concern about Greene is that he still struggles to find his shot.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 4 months ago

“It’s not easy to play six big guys, and we played one of them 17 minutes in the first half (Ellis). Have to give everybody a chance. "

I forgot this was a youth YMCA team and not a team contending for a Final Four. Diallo looked good the first half, and deserved to play in the 2nd half. The announcers were even baffled that he was benched. Heck, Bragg is the one that plays best with Ellis and he didn't even play the 2nd half. Traylor did not give us anything special and even had defensive lapses like leaving his man who ended up scoring without anyone around down low.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

What game did you watch? Diallo looked good on two step back jumpers that he probably should not have attempted. He was lost defensively and didn't know where to set screens.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 4 months ago

Traylor looked good on defense? Hardly. He also was driven on twice, lost the ball while trying to drive, and dribble. Diallo and Bragg both give us an inside presence while taking the pressure off of Ellis, which Traylor does not do.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

It seems that everyone else who watched the game, the broadcasters and the Jayhawk coaching staff disagree with you.

I'm told there will soon be a suicide prevention line for Jamari haters....

Tim Gershon 6 years, 4 months ago

Hey Mark, I'll have to respectfully disagree. Traylor was absolutely spectacular on D. The announcers weren't baffled, they made a mention about Diallo and Bragg and possible starting time, but then one of them quickly followed up with stating that its hard to take out a senior whose playing that well for a an unpolished freshman in a tight game situation.

This topic has been exhausted to death and Matt Tait and Benton Smith had a really good podcast on here the other day where they essentially talked about this at length.

There's one mode of thinking that says, "hey why don't you let the younger all Americans get reps through playing time in order to work through mistakes", Sure we'll lose some non-con games but we'll hopefully use them in the tournament.

The other mode is "lets let the guys who are playing well at that moment and give us the best chance to win this game play". I think the thing that the podcast failed to mention on this mode is that this leads to a higher seed in march madness which hopefully leads to an easier road to a NC.

I see both sides, and flip flop all the time. I was saying how we need to get Jamari less minutes, bench Lucas in favor of Mickleson and get Bragg and Diallo more playing time. But after watching how lost Diallo was and then how well Jamari played, I think I'll agree with the other posters who say I'll just sit back and watch and let BS do his thing as its working so far.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 4 months ago

That is fair Tim, and you bring up some good points, unlike Jay who is a troll. I guess after Self had said he wished he got Oubre minutes earlier in the season than he did that he would have provided more effort to get minutes for Diallo and Bragg. It just seems disappointing that Self fought to get Diallo eligible and he is still going slow with him, instead of pushing his development. I also think Bragg is playing incredibly well and if there is anyone I really think should be on the court more it is him.

Lastly, I am not a Traylor hater, and admire where he came from and that he has graduated this year. That is major kudos to him, and he should be applauded for that big time. I guess it comes down to giving the up and comers like Diallo and especially Bragg some more minutes because of how good they can be by the end of the season. I do think Lucas and Mickelson could soon lose their minutes as the season progresses. We shall see what happens. Happy holidays.

Tim Gershon 6 years, 4 months ago

I think the same thing as you year after year, Why not give Alexander, Oubre, heck even Wiggins and Embiid more time? Its so frustrating, but yah Bill's not going to change. Happy holidays to you man.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for your candor Mark. I'll remember not to sugar coat my feedback next time you make such an asinine comment.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Gayle Atkinson could make even more money setting up a suicide prevention line for Jamari Traylor haters.

Get with it folks. He's going to get minutes. He's the most versatile big defensively.

James Smith 6 years, 4 months ago

Hey Crazy Jay what other name are you using that now you are getting two likes. Smart move now it does not look so obvious. You may want to create a 3rd or 4th name so you can really make yourself look stupid.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 4 months ago

Versatile because he can guard a 3. That is a gift but he is not versatile enough to keep 4's off the offensive boards. He was jumping and coming up short on a lot of rebounds. Thanks to his heart and desire he was reasonably effective but not great. At this point he may be our best option but that is as much a knock on our others as it is a testament to his impact.

Robert Brock 6 years, 4 months ago

Diallo is a bit slow to understand Self's offense and defense. Makes you appreciate the remarkable job Joel Embiid did while he was at KU. Embiid learned quickly. Cheick may never get it before his departure to The League...

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

Cheick really needed all those games and practices he missed, and really does underscore just how phenomenal the development of Joel was. I think it spoiled people last year expecting Cliff to somehow magically develop just by playing more, when the reality is that development is born away from the cameras. It would be nice to see Cheick continue to develop and play a significant role this year. I'm not holding my breath. It would also be nice to see him get a full off season and return for a dominant soph year, though I'm not holding my breath there either.

The good news is there's enough talent at the other 4 spots that we don't need a dominant 5. It was flipped in '88 when we had a dominant big, and Coach Brown was masterful at plugging in the right role player each game. It was also a different player each game, but they had all learned to compete and play and made the difference. Maintaining competition and development at the 5 could be just as beneficial in the end as having 1 player separate from the others.

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 4 months ago

I LOVE being a spoiled KU basketball fan! We get to argue on the blogs about who gets and who should get minutes in the riches of Bigs we've been blessed with. My New Year's musing for early 2016 will be, I think, "what would we be arguing over with this team if it wasn't the Bigs and their minutes?"

James Smith 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe we win our 12th Big 12 championship, get a one seed and lose again to UNI or Bradley or some other lesser team. Then in December of 2016 we say hey we look great why is everyone upset with BS!!

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

Or maybe we make the final 4/win a NC and have everyone go pro, and are left in 2016 with walk-ons playing significant minutes, but lose to UK in the NC again.

Mick Allen 6 years, 4 months ago

Glad to know Kit, Jay, Gerry, Darwin and Robert that there are people other than myself that believe Coach knows the game of basketball.Mark, your statement that Traylor did not play well makes me wonder if we watched the same game. You are definitely in the minority in your criticism of Jamari and your opinion is certainly at odds with Self's opinion on how he played so I guess we should just recognize the fact that you know the strengths and weaknesses of his personnel better than this future Hall of Fame coach. Robert, your comparison of Diallo and Embiid was on the money. Embiid was a much more refined talent than Diallo currently is. He does get lost on defense and because you are extremely fast with great hops do not by themselves make one a good basketball player. He is a great raw talent who has a crazy upside. Once he understands defensive positioning, help defense, staying grounded on the ball fake and a better feel for the game itself, his minutes will increase incrementally. Bryce I agree with your take on Greene. Reassuring to know he can be more than a one dimensional player. While obviously his ability to shoot the jumper is his greatest asset and while he will never be a lock down defender, his effort on D is much better. He went to the board well and he is a good passer.While we would all like to see Bragg and Diallo get more court time so they are both primed to help us at tournament time, I will defer to coach to determine their time on the court at this stage of their development..

Pius Waldman 6 years, 4 months ago

It appears that ability of the bigs makes it hard to say who should be playing. Each has certain skills and some have great potential to improve. We all have opinions and yes Self makes the final decision. Some of us agree others maybe not. We have favorites that we want to play and whine if they don't get minutes. Perry Ellis has earned much playing time and the rest hard to say one is much better than the rest. The biggest concern might be who has the most potential to improve. To get that to positive play surely means playing time. Some that only watch games and have no insight how practices go probably think potential should be a greater factor in deciding who plays. How about this thought: Will Ellis be drafted higher than Diallo or Bragg?

Stephen Dobelbower 6 years, 4 months ago

I too was a bit disappointed that Bragg didn't see much playing time in the second half. He looked pretty good. Diallo, is raw and not ready for prime time. He will be if he hangs around. I think its fair to say that KU is at its best when it plays experienced guys. Our Final four teams weren't relying on freshman phenoms, those were square on the backs of upper classmen. Until we recruit 5 top 25 players every year like Kentucky it will and should remain that way. I like the blue chip recruits and I want more of them. But, Darnell Jacksons, and Kevin Youngs, Travis Releford and Jeff Witheys, did far more than Ben McLemore, Josh Selby, and Wiggins and Embiid. If Wiggins (albeit Embiid was injured) couldn't put a team on his back and take them to the Final Four, then I'll be glad to work my upperclassmen. And you guys that are complaining about not getting playing time, should just shut it. RCJGKU!

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