Monday, November 2, 2015

Self says three-guard lineup likely to start

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) slaps hands with Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) during the first half on Saturday, Jan.10, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured is Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4).

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) slaps hands with Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) during the first half on Saturday, Jan.10, 2015 at Allen Fieldhouse. Also pictured is Kansas guard Devonte Graham (4).


Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self, who has tinkered with all sorts of combinations since the start of practice on Oct. 2, said the three-guard lineup of Frank Mason III, Devonté Graham and Wayne Selden Jr. will likely start Wednesday’s 7 p.m. home exhibition game against Pittsburg State.

Obviously, first-team All-Big 12 performer Perry Ellis will be the fourth starter — at forward — with Self hinting Jamari Traylor might be the one to open next to Ellis in the frontcourt.

“If you’re going to start Devonté and Wayne and Frank, then, yes, we’re looking at them coming off the bench,” he said of taller wings Svi Mykhailiuk and Brannen Greene.

“They need to be instant offense. They need to be able to be guys that can be more than adequate defensively. Brannen Greene, to me, whether he plays 10 minutes or 20 or 25, whatever it is — he could be a guy, if he gets five open looks, he can come away with 12 points. So we need him to make shots.”

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Kansas basketball coach Bill Self meets the media to discuss the Jayhawks' health, preseason progress and potential, ahead of KU's Wednesday exhibition opener against Pittsburg State.

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Of Traylor, Self said: “Jamari has actually played better than he’s played at any point in time in his career (in) the last two weeks, so I don’t know who will start Wednesday, but he certainly would be a guy that deserves to start as much as anybody else right now. That doesn’t mean we’ll start him, just because we want to look at different combinations. We already know how he and Perry can play together.”

Wayne’s health: Self said Selden is not 100 percent recovered from an ankle sprain.

“He’s been inconsistent so far in large part because he turned his ankle bad. It’s bothered him for two months. He’s getting to where he’s about 90 percent,” Self said. “In about a week he should be fine. Doctors said that’s what he should do (practice on it) and fight through it, but I don’t think he quite had the explosion this preseason as what he would have or what he did this summer.”

Of his health, Selden said Monday: “I’m not being hindered that much. I’m not as quick as I can be. That will come in time.”

Decision coming?: Self was asked if KU would learn freshman Cheick Diallo’s fate by Wednesday.

“The reality, I think there will be a definitive answer (on academic eligibility) by Northern Colorado (Nov. 13), but I’m hoping, obviously, even sooner than that. But I have no feelings that it will get done by Wednesday, but I’m still hopeful that it can,” Self said.

Diallo won’t play in the exhibition if his eligibility is in limbo.

“Not unless the NCAA told us, ‘Play him,’ and it has no bearing on hurting him if they make a determination later. But that will not happen. They’re not going to tell us that. We’ll hold him until we know,” Self said.

Self said he has no problem with the NCAA’s administration of the case.

“Of course you (media) will never be privy to what’s been done, but it’s been handled in a correct way, and I think there’s a lot of processing going on right now,” Self said. “But we don’t know if that takes additional information, we don’t know what that entails, but I do think that everybody’s on the same page and understanding the importance of getting this thing cleared up as soon as possible.”

Self said practices have been held with the assumption Diallo will play this season. He has been taking a full amount of reps.

Refs at practice: Self had Big 12 refs work Monday’s scrimmage and speak to the team about the rules emphasis on aiding freedom of movement after the scrimmage.

“We’re going to commit 30 fouls a game early on,” Self said on his weekly “Hawk Talk” radio show. “Svi had a great day today (at scrimmage). Brannen Greene had a great day today. Wayne had a really good day today, but we need to get more consistent with our guard play.”

It’s the second time refs have come to practice.

“I got on the officials the first time, because they called four fouls in the first two possessions. And I said, ‘Guys, I mean, gee, I’m all for this, but we at least want to scrimmage today.’’’

Asked who will be the first to foul out in a game with the new rules emphasis, Self said: “Cheick. Without question.”

Of the team’s performance this preseason, Self said: “I would say, to me, Hunter Mickelson is probably what fans would probably view as our most improved guy. But I’m not sure that Frank and Perry and Jamari probably haven’t played at a higher level than they did at any point in time last year right now.”

Bend those knees: Self was asked if junior wing Greene did not have an instinct for getting back on defense.

“I guess you could make a case for that. Maybe bending knees, anything like that. So, no, I’m joking. But Brannen’s had, he’s had a good camp. I just don’t think his health (coming off hip surgery) has allowed him to be at 100 percent.

“I told our guys the other day, ‘Hey, as a freshman, you’re learning. As a sophomore, you’re stubborn. As a junior, well, you just don’t get it.’ I’m not talking about Brannen. I’m talking about anybody in general. So if you’re still fighting certain things as a junior or senior, then it’s not stubbornness, you just don’t get it.”

Hoiberg’s daughter at KU: Former Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg’s daughter, Paige, is a freshman at KU and works in the KU basketball office.

“I’ve not talked to Fred (new Chicago Bulls coach) since the season started. I have a contact (in Hoiberg family),” Self joked on “Hawk Talk.” “He has a lot going on. I think they are 2-1 now. They beat Cleveland to start his (pro) career. That’s a great win to start your career.”

Tickets on sale: General-admission tickets are still available for Wednesday’s game and a Nov. 10 game vs. Fort Hays State.

For tickets call 1-800-34-HAWKS.


Adam Gerval 6 years, 6 months ago

Fred Holberg's daughter goes got KU?? Huh. What's that say about ISU?

Benz Junque 6 years, 6 months ago

Just that going to the school that your father just DITCHED to go to the NBA might be uncomfortable.

Benz Junque 6 years, 6 months ago

That was when he was still their coach. I can 100% guarantee that there would be at least one moron a day giving her a hard time for her dad leaving, especially if they do not live up to their lofty expectations under the new coach. That's not a fun, safe environment for an 18 year old kid to have to deal with. School is hard enough.

Tom Jones 6 years, 6 months ago

Says a lot about her. She's smart, just like her dad.

Ali Zaidi 6 years, 6 months ago

I realize I'm not privy to the finer points of the investigation, but from a fan's perspective, the NCAA's inability to make a decision one way or another is absolutely unacceptable. How much 'processing' could it possibly take??

I feel for Cheick. I can't imagine not knowing whether or not you'll play this season or not.

Robert Brock 6 years, 6 months ago

It seems clear that the transcripts from his New York school were short of the requisite cores and now KU is trying to find his transcripts in Mali to fill in the blanks. It doesn't look positive.

Benz Junque 6 years, 6 months ago

Nothing is clear except that the NCAA is ridiculous. With bazillions of dollars of income from the tourney, you'd think they could hire a few dozen more investigators to handle the volume each year and handle these things in a more timely manner.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 6 months ago

Robert you are right on spot with this post.

Benz thinks we are waiting on the NCAA which is wrong to assume. The NCAA requires information from the schools and a few weeks ago KU had just submitted paperwork they were getting from Mali. It is easy to blame the NCAA but in this specific case requested information did not make it to them until recently.

You are exactly right Robert on your point.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 6 months ago

It actually has nothing to do with his Mali transcripts and is likely about the Algebra and Algebra II classes at OSNA not being up to standards based on their websites.

Tom Jones 6 years, 6 months ago


I won't address you or Robert's "points" because neither of you know anything about what is actually happening with Diallo, but I would like to point out (in the interest of helping you avoid future ridicule) that the expression is actually "spot on", not "right on spot".

Brett McCabe 6 years, 6 months ago

It really is interesting to have Holberg's daughter, not only at KU, but also working in the basketball office. It says a lot about the relationship between Hoiberg and Self, and it definitely says something about Ms. Hoiberg, and her willingness to not only leave Ames, but to also join up with a hated rival. I'm assuming Mr. Weatherwax would not approve.

Welcome to KU, Paige. I hope that you have a great experience while in Lawrence. RCJHK!

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes it is interesting. Perhaps there are some nuts in Ames upset Fred left or maybe she just wants to get a bit away from home. Nevertheless, I also loved Fred Holberg and his daughter is certainly welcome in Lawrence. Anyone know if she rushed a sorority?

Clark Groseth 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, Dang! Chi Omega! Y'all will never concern yourselves with stuff like this once the REAL season starts, but thoughts of Chi O bring back fond memories of years gone by....those years were somewhere in the vicinity of 1953 and the Chi O was having trouble in Natural Science 1. So I (being older and wiser((yah, right)) ) tutored the sweet young thing and several of her sisters. The strangest part was, given college sophomore's hormonal proclivities, our relationship was purely platonic. Sigh!

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

That figures. If she went Greek, I would have expected her to be a XO, since they are one of the best nationally. Regardless of the name and connections, she better get down to her studies. Grades are the name of the game at XO, who regularly lead the Greeks in GPA. Last semester they had a 3.57 AVERAGE GPA.

Sam Burns 6 years, 6 months ago

I usually don't post much, but I read almost every day. How can this article get the attention about Fred Hoiberg's daughter instead of the issue about playing Traylor and Ellis as our two bigs. They were too small to play against anyone with size last year, How can that be different this year? Sure, we can beat the below average teams with them, but we'll be in big trouble when we play anyone else with size. We could beat those teams with five guards. We need to be using our 6'10" guys (preferable Hunter) if we don't get to use Cheick yet. Are we just going to wake up too late again and say " Oh my gosh, Jamari is too small"?

Brett McCabe 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, Sam, my first reaction was "that's a small lineup". My second reaction was, it seems like Bill Self knows a little bit about the game, lineups, etc. than I do. I think that he may have earned our trust, just a bit.

Why worry about a lineup for an exhibition game? My belief is that he uses these games to reward hard workers and, as he said himself, test lineups. The lineups are meaningless until they become meaningful.

Benz Junque 6 years, 6 months ago

It's an exhibition game. No one cares who starts nor does it matter at all. It would have gotten some attention if Self followed by saying "and this will be our starting lineup for the entire season".

Sam Burns 6 years, 6 months ago

Brett and Benz. I usually enjoy your post. I'm disappointed that you guys only gave me credit for caring about who starts. I don't. But, I really want to develop a lineup that we can use when we need it most. Of course Bill is a great coach. I wouldn't trade him for anyone out there. But that doesn't make him unquestionable or beyond doubt. His loyalty to upper classmen and returning players sometimes causes issues. I see it most every year. He usually corrects it, but I can't help wonder how much better it could have been had those issues been corrected earlier in the year.

Mike Riches 6 years, 6 months ago

Self is without question more comfortable starting and playing returning players and upper classmen. But really, what issues has that caused? I think Self typically plays the lineup he thinks will give him the best chance to win. The problems we've had, especially the last two post seasons, haven't come from younger players not getting more playing time earlier in the season, as much as they've stemmed from injury and ineligibilty. In fact younger players who did get ample playing time throughout the season (notably Wiggins) were not much help in those post season losses.

Having said that, I don't think Jamari playing the 5 is our best lineup at all. But I don't mind if he starts early in the season in front of younger players, including Diallo, assuming he's eligible. I may be old fashioned, but I think it's good to come off the bench for a few games and have to fight for playing time, even if a player is super talented.

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